Sajid Javid clashes with Reid over Rishi Sunak comment
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Sajid Javid appeared on Good Morning Britain and was grilled about the tightness of the Government following suggestions Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are at loggerheads. It comes as the Chancellor reported scrapped the Monday announcement of how to tackle the NHS backlog with the head of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, saying Mr Sunak did not want to “waste” it on a “dying administration”. Mr Javid said he “did not recognise” the claim to which Susanna Reid pushed for a more direct answer with the Health Secretary saying flat-out “no” as he defended the relationship between Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson.
The “elective recovery plan” was due to be published on Monday which would have laid out the Government’s proposals to tackle the NHS backlog caused by COVID-19.
However, Matthew Taylor, believed the reason for the sudden shelving was due to the Treasury dragging its heels so it could take greater credit for the proposals.
Mr Taylor believed the situation was similar to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown with the latter stepping up as Mr Blair saw his grip over government weaken.
The NHS boss tweeted: “Increasingly getting the sense that Johnson now faces the same (but more intense and short term) challenge [Tony Blair] had in his third term…
“Namely that [Her Majesty’s Treasury] is loath to agree to any No10 plans involving money as the [Chancellor] sees these as opportunistic and wasted on a dying administration.”
Mr Javid was grilled over the suggestion and said: “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are working together, they’re getting on with the job.
“I mean, you talk about last week, I really noticed last week was this huge plan for levelling up which was published by the Government but involving every department…
“And everyone across the UK working together including commitments from my own departments about levelling up in terms of health inequalities that exist.”
Ms Reid interrupted and steered Mr Javid back to her original question and wanted to know if there was an “issue” between Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson.
Mr Javid said he saw the pair “working together every day” and was focused on “delivery”.
Ms Reid pointed out that some of the public will have noticed he did not give a straight answer to her question.
He replied: “I just told you I don’t recognise that, that means no.
“I don’t see that as an issue at all so the answer is no and, in fact, to the contrary, what I see is the Prime Minister and the Chancellor working incredibly well together.”
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