Sajid Javid quit Boris Johnson’s government because he didn’t want to “rock the boat” by insisting he kept his special advisers, a former aide has suggested.
Javid resigned as chancellor on Thursday after being told by the Prime Minister that he must fire his team of advisers and replace them with Number 10-approved staff.
Salma Shah, a former adviser to Javid, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday: “I think the thing you have to remember about him as a person is he is non-confrontational.
“He is not someone who is going to rock the boat for the sake of his own ego.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, Javid tells Johnson
She said it would have been “incredibly detrimental” for a chancellor to allow Number 10 to choose his closest aides.
“I think Sajid rightly understood that not having his own political advisers would be incredibly detrimental to his decision-making power.
“You cannot have a minister that does not appoint their own special advisers because they cannot appoint anyone else.
“They are the only people in a Government department that are the minister’s responsibility and chosen by them.”
On Friday morning, Javid was asked by reporters if he had a message for the PM.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” he said as he left his home in south-west London.
He later posted a video of himself returning to life as a backbench MP.
The Bromsgrove MP wrote on Twitter: “My 4th annual #Bromsgrove Pensioners Fair is now open! Please do come along.”
Javid’s former cabinet colleagues declined to answer questions as they entered Downing Street for the first meeting under Johnson’s reshuffled administration.
New chancellor Rishi Sunak, health secretary Matt Hancock and Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg were among those who ignored questions about Javid’s resignation.