Sajid Javid has refused to rule out a pact with the Brexit Party in a general election, insisting the Conservative Party does not “need” electoral alliances.
Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show following the announcement of Amber Rudd’s resignation on Saturday evening, the Chancellor was asked whether he would feel comfortable working with Nigel Farage after striking an election deal.
Mr Javid said he supported holding a general election despite “sad” timing, saying: “We absolutely now need an election. It is being forced on us because Parliament is trying to kneecap these negotiations.”
He was then repeatedly asked to publicly rule out a pact with the Brexit Party, which Mr Johnson is believed to have privately ruled out.
Mr Javid said: “We don’t need an electoral alliance with anyone. We can stand on our own two feet, put our message across.
“The picture our opponents are painting of us, of course they would paint a false picture. We are a proud centre right, moderate, one nation party.
“There is nothing extremist about wanting to meet the will of the British people on a simple question which was do you want to leave the EU or not.
“We are not in an election yet. I am clear we do not need an alliance with anyone.”
Shortly after the programme, expelled Conservative MP Sam Gyimah criticised his former party for purging moderate MPs as an election strategy to avoid a Brexit Party pact.
Speaking to John Pienaar on Radio Five Live, he said: “What tipped Conservative MPs over the edge this week was the realisation that the government was playing games to run down the clock and deliver a no-deal Brexit for which it has no mandate, and that is scandalous.
“I know there is a serious level of disquiet about what the government is doing, not just in terms of no-deal but an explicit attempt to purge the Conservative Party of moderate MPs because they see that as the way to steal the Brexit Party votes from underneath Nigel Farage.
“If the Conservative Party can become more like the Brexit Party, then they hope to be able to get his votes without a pact.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?