Ruth Davidson backs Sajid Javid in the Tory leadership contest

Written by John Johnston on 10 June 2019 in News

Davidson said the Home Secretary, who is among 11 candidates battling to take over from Theresa May, embodied "aspiration, education, opportunity, hard work and just reward"

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Ruth Davidson has backed Sajid Javid in the Tory leadership contest, with the Scottish Conservative leader branding him "the real deal" .

Writing in the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Davidson said the Home Secretary, who is among 11 candidates battling to take over from Theresa May, embodied "aspiration, education, opportunity, hard work and just reward".

She said he had “worked his way to a better life for himself and his family before walking away from a lucrative career in order to give back in public service to the country he loves and which offered his immigrant parents a home.”

Davidson, who has been credited with reviving the Conservative Party north of the border, said she also backed Javid's unionism and “in the secure knowledge he will defend Scotland’s interests".

Responding to the comments, Javid said: “Ruth knows a winner when she sees one.”

He added: “So proud to have Ruth’s backing. There’s nobody like her. Together, we’re going to show what modern Tories can do.”

The endorsement comes as the Cabinet minister pledged to spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a bid to develop a new technological solution to the Irish border to help break the Brexit deadlock.

He said: “I think it’s morally justified to pay for that because we both have signed the Good Friday Agreement, we are both absolutely committed to peace on the island of Ireland and – given that we voted to leave and that’s what’s changing the status quo on the island of Ireland – I think it’s morally right that we say, ‘look, we’ll pay because we’ve caused this’.”

Davidson added: "Saj is uniquely placed as the only candidate with vast experience of international business, coupled with an intimate knowledge of security arrangements, to chart the best course for us."

The comments come as frontrunner Boris Johnson secured the backing of senior cabinet ministers James Brokenshire, Alun Cairns and Chris Grayling.

Johnson, who has threatened to withhold the £39bn EU divorce bill unless the UK is given better Brexit terms, has also received support from senior Brexiteer Steve Baker, as well as sacked defence secretary Gavin Williamson.

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