Sunday, December 5

Javid attacks Johnson over Muslim women comments


 

 

Sajid Javid has hit out at two of his rivals for the Tory leadership, claiming Dominic Raab’s position on Brexit is complete nonsense and condemning Boris Johnson’s previous comments about Muslim women.

The home secretary, one of 11 candidates vying to succeed Theresa May, said suggestions that parliament could be suspended if it tries to block a no-deal Brexit were anti-British and rubbish. Mr Raab said on Wednesday that he would not rule out such a move.

As the gloves came off in the Conservative leadership contest, Mr Javid attacked Mr Johnson over his previous claim that women who wear the Muslim niqab look like letterboxes or a bank robber.

Asked by The Independent about the remarks, which led to the former foreign secretary being investigated by the Conservative Party, Mr Javid told an event organised by the British Future think-tank: “I think they’re wrong. I don’t think any serious politician should use language like that.”

It was on the issue of Brexit, though, that Mr Javid launched his strongest denunciation of a leadership rival.

Speaking after Mr Raab caused uproar by refusing to rule out proroguing parliament to prevent it stopping the UK leaving the EU without a deal, he said: “I’m not into this proroguing parliament rubbish. It’s a complete nonsense. It’s anti-democratic and anti-British.”

The home secretary said he would be unwilling to delay Brexit beyond 31 October and would prefer a no-deal exit to a further extension.

He said: All the policies I would have if I was prime minister would all be based on leaving by 31 October.

I want to do that by a deal – that would be my absolute preference and that’s what I’d work incredible hard on. I will still keep working on no deal, not because I want it but because it’s the responsible thing to do.

Earlier this year, a leaked Home Office document suggested that this technology could not be implemented until at least 2030.

But Mr Javid said: You can absolutely have an open border on the island of Ireland with no infrastructure using existing technology, and it can be done in a couple of years.

He said the UK government should offer to pay for the technology in order to encourage the Irish government to accept the plan.

The home secretary said he would be unwilling to delay Brexit beyond 31 October and would prefer a no-deal exit to a further extension.

He said: All the policies I would have if I was prime minister would all be based on leaving by 31 October.

I want to do that by a deal that would be my absolute preference and that’s what I’d work incredible hard on. I will still keep working on no deal, not because I want it but because it’s the responsible thing to do.