Tom Richmond: Why Home Secretary Sajid Javid is guilty as charged of putting his political ambitions before the country

Home Secretary Sajid javid delivers his personal speech on violent crime.Home Secretary Sajid javid delivers his personal speech on violent crime.
Home Secretary Sajid javid delivers his personal speech on violent crime.
YOU don’t need the detective skills of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, Inspector Roy Grace from the Peter James series or Yorkshire author Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks to find Sajid Javid guilty of launching a premature Tory leadership bid.

Instead of working to get Brexit over the line before Theresa May steps aside, or making sure there are sufficient police this Easter as the eco-anarchists threaten to run riot, the Home Secretary has been too busy putting himself first this week.

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First, he delivered a very personal speech in which he revealed that he could have been drawn into a life of crime as he admitted the bloodshed on Britain’s streets had left him fearing for his children’s safety. He appeared to overlook the police cuts that the Tories have presided over since 2010.

Next, after trying to secure the sympathy vote, this supposed man of action hinted – in another wheeze always used by politicians when looking to broaden their appeal – that job applicants may not have to disclose parts of their criminal record to prospective employers.

Note the language – and the use of the word ‘I’ – when Mr Javid said: “One thing I am looking at, to give you one example, is the disclosure service, youth criminality disclosure, and whether we can look again at the approach that is sometimes taken there.”

Talk about the big ‘I am’. What about the rest of the Government – and what, for example, is the view of the Attorney General?

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And then the Home Secretary found time to post this tweet: “I’ve allocated an immediate extra £51m to police forces worst affected by violent crime to strengthen their response and increase the number of officers on our streets.”

Again Mr Javid is taking personal credit for using Government money – provided, don’t forget, by the taxpayer – to buy a bit of favour from the police, and public, until the next crisis on our streets.

A tactic stolen straight from Tony Blair’s handbook when the former Prime Minister was in power, Mr Javid – a Remain supporter who now backs Leave when it comes to Britain’s relations with the EU – continues to ignore a recent rebuke from the Speaker after launching a new initiative on knife crime without having the courtesy to inform Parliament.

At a time when Brexit has exposed the Government’s failure, and inability, to work on a cross-party basis, Mr Javid, therefore, stands guilty of putting himself first, failing to work with others or learning from Theresa May’s mistakes – a significant charge sheet that he will now have to overcome if he is to advance his candidacy for the Tory leadership any further.

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JUST like Boris Johnson and his equally tiresome family who bore for Britain, all Jacob Rees-Mogg can do is think of himself.

It comes after he was asked if he would vote for his sister Annunziata who intends to stand for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the EU elections. “I would not vote against my sister,” he said. “If she were standing in Somerset, I would vote in London, and if she were standing in London, I would vote in Somerset.”

This comment reveals how aloof – and out-of-touch – Mr Rees-Mogg is with ordinary voters. He clearly doesn’t realise that most families do not have the luxury of spare – or second – homes to settle sibling squabbles over Brexit.

MY recent suggestion – and a serious one – that it would be cheaper to pay Transport Secretary Chris Grayling appears to have been taken up by the Private Eye satirical magazine.

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A regular reader has pointed me in the direction of a supposedly spoof column headlined ‘Idiot brings railway to standstill’ in which it mocks the failing Minister “for turning up for work at the Department for Transport”.

Though Private Eye was trying to be funny, Mr Grayling’s failings are no laughing matter to commuters in the real world beyond London’s outer perimeter.

After all, the Transport Secretary spent all of Thursday emailing a signed letter to all council chief executives about road signs. This is what he wrote: “I am writing to remind you that distances shown on traffic signs on public highways in Great Britain must be in imperial units, i.e. miles, miles and yards, or yards. Metric units are not permitted as a measurement of distance.”

He then added: “Further guidance on traffic sign design is provided in Chapter 7 of The Traffic Signs Manual. I would also like to remind you that as a traffic authority you are responsible for ensuring that traffic signs you erect on your road network comply with legislation.”

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Talking about fiddling while Rome burns. As I said, the country would be better off if he was paid to stay at home.

APPALLING bad practice from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The number that patients had to call with appointment queries went unanswered for more than a week. The reason? The lady who answers the phone was away – it’s not, I stress, her fault – and there was no means of redirecting calls or setting up an answerphone service. Shocking.

THE victory of golfer Tiger Woods in the US Masters has been described as the greatest sporting comeback ever. Though remarkable – the over-used prefix ‘absolutely’ is superfluous and unnecessary – I suggest it is the most unlikely since one Lester Piggott returned to racing in 1990 at the age of 54 after five years out of the saddle and a year in prison for tax evasion.

Not only was this sporting freak having to virtually starve himself in order to make the weight, but he memorably won the Breeders’ Cup Mile – one of the world’s most celebrated contests – 12 days later on Royal Academy with a ride that was both instinctive and nerveless.