Home secretary Sajid Javid has compared his childhood to Margaret Thatcher’s, saying he loved working at his parents’ shop just like the former prime minister.
Speaking to an audience at the Centre for Policy Studies, Javid said: “My story and Margaret Thatcher’s story, that link to small business, is of course a story for countless people, millions of people throughout our country.”
Javid’s father worked as a bus driver after coming to Britain from Pakistan, and then went on to start his own business.
“What I haven’t said much is the reason that my dad was a bus driver was he wanted to get a job that could just give him enough savings so that he could do what was burning away in his heart – which was to start his own business.
“He did manage to do that after a few years, when he started with market stalls, selling ladies’ clothing.
“And then he managed to buy a shop, which me and my mother and the whole family lived above.
“I remember selling the blouses, the tights, the skirts… you could say I know more about ladies’ clothing than any other male MP.”
Javid was speaking at a function to launch a report that calls for drastic simplification of the tax system to reduce red tape.
The report includes findings that small company owners are losing faith in the Conservative Party. Six in 100 small company owners believe that the government do not support them.
Javid said: “Small businesses are the engine of the British economy and the millions of people who run businesses up and down the country deserve the Government’s full support.
“This report shows how bureaucracy and paperwork are stifling the growth of our small businesses, and offers a series of compelling ideas for how Government can roll back the tide and show that the Conservatives are backing entrepreneurs.”