LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Sajid Javid as finance minister, a promotion for the former interior minister who struggled to make his mark under Theresa May.
— Javid, 49, is the son of a Pakistani bus driver who was advised at school to become a television repairman. He has recounted how his father came to Britain from Pakistan with one pound in his pocket and how he faced racial abuse at school.
- Javid is seen as a steady pair of hands. He is a minister who is described by several public servants who worked for him as decisive and clear. But he is not universally liked in the Conservative Party, being described as a man who does “not have star quality” by one veteran member.
- Some Brexit supporters are critical of his decision to back “Remain” in the 2016 EU referendum despite him previously describing himself as an eurosceptic.
- Javid is a great admirer of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher - he has a portrait of the “Iron Lady” in his office - and her emphasis on supply-side reforms has rubbed off. But he has proposed the creation of a 100 billion-pound ($125 billion) National Infrastructure Fund to take advantage of ultra-low borrowing costs and invest in projects that would rebalance the economy, similar to proposals from the left-wing opposition Labour Party. The fund would be based outside London.
- After studying economics and politics at the University of Exeter, Javid became a banker, first for Chase Manhattan and then between 2000 and 2009 for Deutsche Bank. In 2006, he rose to become its Singapore-based head of global credit trading. This involved regional responsibility for trading in Collateralized Debt Obligations, which became famous for their role in causing the global financial crisis. In his maiden speech in parliament, Javid said that being a banker was a good preparation for being a politician because both professions are disliked by members of the public.
Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by William Schomberg