Sajid Javid thinks ‘the elite’ is out to get him after Hugh Grant refuses handshake

Support us and go ad-free

Sajid Javid has criticised Hugh Grant after the actor refused to shake his hand at a film premiere. The chancellor said Grant had been “incredibly rude” at a glitzy event for Martin Scorsese’s new film The Irishman.

Handbags at dawn

Javid told ES Magazine:

I recognised him and put my hand out and said, ‘Lovely to meet you’, and you know what he does? He refuses to shake my hand. He says, ‘I am not shaking your hand’. I am completely shocked. He said, ‘When you were culture secretary you didn’t support my friends in (anti-media intrusion campaign) Hacked Off.’ I think that is incredibly rude.

But a spokesperson for the actor told the Press Association news agency that Grant had a different version of events:

Grant’s words were ‘If you don’t mind, I won’t shake your hand because you were rude and dismissive to the victims of press abuse when you met them as culture secretary.’

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The spokesperson continued:

Hugh would like to point out that the victims in question were not celebrities. They were people with personal family tragedies who had been abused by sections of the press.

He said Grant was referring to a meeting between Javid and “the victims of press abuse… (who) reported back that his attitude in the meeting was ‘borderline contemptuous’”.

I’m not the elite, you’re the elite

Javid decided that the Grant snub was class warfare pure and simple, saying:

I wonder if people like Hugh Grant think they are part of the elite and they look down on working class people no matter what station they reach in life.

The former Tory leadership candidate also told ES:

People, let’s call them the elite, the ones with the comfortable upbringing, who went to the best schools – they glide through life, they get second chances, they can afford to screw up, they always have the easy language on the tip of their tongues.

Whereas people like me and you don’t get second chances, don’t have that easy language on your finger-tips, haven’t got that funny anecdote to get out of that difficult situation, so you question your self-confidence.

But of course, Javid should know all about “second chances” and being able to “screw up”. Because he has managed to “glide” from the heart of the industry that crashed the global economy to being chancellor of the exchequer. I guess that’s his “funny anecdote”.

Faced with a Labour Party that’s actually going to tackle the inequality that only profits the elite, the Tories are desperately trying to suggest they’re somehow anti-elite as well. But it won’t work. Because even those members of the government who, like Javid, have had a relatively modest start in life have since taken every opportunity to vote against the interests of ordinary people. So they get doubly shown up when the likes of Grant use their undoubted privilege to speak out on behalf of the disempowered and overlooked.

Featured image and additional reporting via Press Association

Support us and go ad-free

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?

The Canary Support us