Sajid Javid, our current Secretary of State for Culture, is being heralded as future leader material. The 44 year-old has made impressive progress through Westminster, going from economic to financial secretary before ascending to the prestigious position he holds today, and, according to many of his Tory colleagues, there is no reason he will stop there.
The first individual of Asian ancestry to hold a such a position in the Cabinet, Javid has already made history. Aptitude for his field is only complimented by his background. Not only did he spend 20 successful years in banking and manage to collect a small fortune for himself, a reported £20million in 15 years, but comes from a hard-working immigrant family who came over from Pakistan in the rockier cultural climate of 1961: 'my mum had no formal education at all, and her constant refrain was, “Are you studying properly? Have you done your homework?”,' he told The Mail in an interview.
Javid's father too, encouraged a good work ethic: ‘I remember him coming home in his uniform (…) he started as a conductor and progressed to driver. They called him Mr Night And Day. My memory is of him always working.' This has influenced his political outlook, for example his support of Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s plans to lower the £26,000 benefits cap to nearer £18,000 a year: ‘It’s absolutely correct and fair all round (…) not least because benefits are paid from the taxes of working people, and it’s extremely hard to justify why someone not working should receive more than a person who works hard.’ He states he would also support the UK if it opted out of the EU: ‘I am not afraid of that at all. It would open up opportunities.'
Javid joined parliament in 2010 as the Conservative representative for Bromsgrove, but had a strong political stand before then, joining the Conservative association of Exeter university where he studied politics and economics.
In terms of a wider vision, Javid acknowledges that the Tory name has suffered in the eyes of the multicultural community since Enoch Powell's 1968 'River's of Blood' speech, but wants to reclaim the party's image in a more progressive light: 'We have to work hard to win over the ethnic vote (…) the fact is that if you’re from an ethnic minority community, your concerns are the same as everyone else’s: the economy, the health service, education.'