Tory leadership race: Ruth Davidson endorses Sajid Javid

SCOTTISH Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has endorsed home secretary Sajid Javid to become the next prime minister.

Describing Javid as “the real deal” in an article for the Mail on Sunday, Davidson said Javid was “the man for the job” who has the vision to united a “divided Britain.”

Davidson wrote: “Born into poverty, he worked his way to a better life for himself and his family before walking away from a lucrative career in order to give back in public service to the country he loves.”

She added: “With Britain now so deeply divided, we need our next prime minister to be a unifier.”

The home secretary is one of 11 MPs hoping to replace Theresa May, who officially stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party on Friday (7). He welcomed Davidson’s support and tweeted: “So proud to have Ruth’s backing. There’s nobody like her. Together, we’re going to show what modern Tories can do​.”

Javid on Monday (10) said delivering Brexit was a top priority, but added that no deal cannot be taken off the table.

“It is absolutely my priority and it has been the government’s priority to leave with a deal because whilst no deal can’t be taken off the table … the focus should absolutely be the deal,” Javid told LBC radio.

“I would offer to pay the entire cost of this new border system, not just obviously for ourselves, but for the Irish,” he said, adding that Britain should pay the setup costs and the annual running costs.

Nominations for Tory leadership will close at 17:00 BST on Monday.

On Friday, Javid also revealed his decision to reverse May’s stringent visa norms that restricted overseas students from countries like India from staying on to work for a few years at the end of their university degree.

“It makes no sense to send some of the brightest and most enterprising people in the world straight home after their time here,” Javid said in a column for The Financial Times.

At an event organised by think tank British Future in London on Thursday, the minister had stressed on a similar commitment to encourage international students to both study in the UK and stay on and work after they graduate.

“I want to see more international students come to our country. If they’re coming here to study at our great universities, and if they want to work afterwards, we should make it easier for them to stay and work. We need a more positive attitude to this and I think the country would welcome it,” Javid said.