Israel has a new ally in the Cabinet — the first Asian male Conservative minister.
Sajid Javid was appointed Culture Secretary following Maria Miller’s resignation last week and is tipped as a possible future Tory leader.
He is also one of Israel’s strongest supporters in Parliament. Speaking at a Conservative Friends of Israel event in 2012 he described himself as: “a proud, British-born Muslim”, but said that if he had to settle in the Middle East, he would opt for Israel, “the only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain.
“And the only nation in the Middle East where my family would feel the warm embrace of freedom and liberty”. Mr Javid’s speech was so well received by guests that when one quipped about him being a possible future Prime Minister, another diner asked: “Of Britain, or Israel?”
But there was criticism of Mr Javid’s appointment from some quarters. Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding said: “His overly pro-Israel stance will bring into question his ethical judgment given Israel’s appalling human rights record.”
After working in the City, where he became a millionaire, Mr Javid was elected as Bromsgrove MP in 2010.
His father, Abdul, moved from Pakistan to Lancashire, in the 1960s and was a bus driver.