SAJID Javid has revealed he is supporting Liz Truss to become the next Conservative party leader, after issuing a thundering attack on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic plans.
The former Health Secretary, who resigned last month demanding that Boris Johnson quit as Prime Minister, warned that his friend Sunak would lead Britain “sleepwalking into a high-tax, low-growth” economy.
And Javid, 52, also claimed that Sunak’s refusal to cut taxes risked the UK becoming a “middle-income economy”, reducing our global influence and power.
In an article for The Times throwing his support behind Truss, he said that the Foreign Secretary’s “willingness to challenge the status quo” made her the right choice to lead the country.
He added that there were “no risk-free options in government,” in an apparent dig at 42-year-old Sunak.
Javid’s show of support for Truss will be a blow to Sunak, who succeeded his mentor as Chancellor in 2020 and reportedly urged him to join his leadership campaign last month.
But when Javid was brought back into government as Health Secretary by Boris Johnson, the pair’s relationship reportedly became strained.
Both have offered radically different economic plans to tackle Britain’s cost of living crisis.
Javid’s support for Truss may come as no surprise to Tory insiders, after he, unlike Sunak, backed immediate tax cuts in the early stages of the leadership contest.
His support means Truss, 47, now has the backing of five former leadership candidates, despite Sunak being the early favourite to succeed Boris Johnson.
No present or former cabinet minister, in comparison, has backed Sunak since the Conservative leadership election reached its final two after Penny Mordaunt was eliminated.
But sources close to Sunak have downplayed polls suggesting Truss has the overwhelming support of Tory members, and claim internal canvassing shows he is performing much more strongly than public polls suggest.
In his article, Javid unleashed a direct attack on Sunak, saying: “Some claim that tax cuts can only come once we have growth. I believe the exact opposite — tax cuts are a prerequisite for growth.
Tax cuts now are essential
“Tax cuts now are essential. There are no risk-free options in government. However, in my view, not cutting taxes carries an even greater risk.”
He added: “With only two years before the next election, there has been a temptation to just ‘get the barnacles off the boat’ and avoid any short-term political pain for long-term national gain.
“We must reject that. As a nation, we are sleepwalking into a big-state, high-tax, low-growth, social democratic style model which risks us becoming a middle-income economy by the 2030s with the loss of global influence and power.”
It is rumoured that Javid could be in line for a return to the Treasury in a Truss government after his failed leadership bid put forward similar plans to slash taxes.
Javid’s endorsement was described as the “big one for us” by a senior Truss campaign source.
“The bigger beasts of the party are uniting behind Liz because they believe in her vision for the economy,” they said.
“We can’t have the Treasury orthodoxy and tired status quo. They believe she will turn things around in time for the next election by getting on and delivering quickly in No 10.”