Sajid Javid (Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images).


HOME secretary Sajid Javid on Sunday (16) said it was important to elect someone who can unite people, and said he would be an ideal candidate as he was not from “central casting.”

Javid, along with Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab and Rory Stewart, took part in the Channel 4 Tory leadership debate on Sunday where they tore into each other over Brexit. Boris Johnson declined an invitation to battle the others.

Portraying himself as a “different messenger that can bring people together,” Javid said his background and life experiences are not similar to those of his rivals.

“My own background, my life experiences is very different. I am not from central casting and I think that can make a difference,” he said.

He added: “We talked a moment ago about whether someone is Remain or Leave, whether someone is black or white, North or South, urban or rural, and whatever happens this is the number one thing we have to address in our country if we are staying together as a cohesive society.

“I think it is incumbent upon all politicians, especially when we see around the world, in the US, Italy and others, there are politicians that want to feed off anger and feed off division, that we as Conservatives always look at the best in people and try to bring them together.”

Javid’s parents come from Pakistan, and if he becomes the prime minister, he would be the first from a Muslim religious background. Javid will also be Britain’s first nonwhite prime minister.

Making his formal pitch for the Conservative leadership last week, Javid described Boris Johnson as “yesterday’s news” and touted himself as the right candidate to connect the party to modern Britain.

“I’d say I’m a change candidate. Boris Johnson is yesterday’s news,” Javid said. “He’s been around in politics for a while, he’s achieved a lot, and he’s still got a big role to play.

“But I think that if we are trying to connect with the next generation and move forward as a country, then I think it’s time for the next generation, with a bold new agenda.”