Sajid Javid on Visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, has started on a trip to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories. He will use his week-long trip to discuss security in the region and how to most effectively tackle extremism.

Javid said in a statement:

“It was an honour to meet our friends in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to discuss our continued commitment to security and the pursuit of peace.

The importance of the political progress needed to unlock a just and lasting peace is inescapable in the Old City of Jerusalem. With sites sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, all believers need to be able to practise their faith freely, peacefully and without fear.

As Home Secretary, I’m committed to working with friends at home and abroad to tackle all forms of religious hatred – including antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and the persecution of Christians.”

Speaking before a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu, Javid added:

“Freedom of religion and belief is a non-negotiable right for all peoples, and the UK government is committed to tackling anti-Muslim hatred, antisemitism, the persecution of Christians and any other impediments to this right both in the UK and around the world.”

Sajid Javid Eliminated in Tory Leadership Contest

Sajid Javid has been eliminated in the fourth round of the Conservative Party’s leadership contest. Boris Johnson again topped the poll and there will be another round of voting held today to select the final two candidates that will go forward to party members.

Boris Johnson – 157 votes

Michael Gove – 61 votes

Jeremy Hunt – 59 votes

Sajid Javid – 34 votes

Dominic Raab Eliminated in Tory Leadership Contest

Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.

Boris Johnson – 126 votes

Jeremy Hunt – 46 votes

Michael Gove – 41 votes

Rory Stewart – 37 votes

Sajid Javid – 33 votes

Dominic Raab – 30 votes

Mark Harper Becomes Latest Conservative to Stand for Leadership

Mark Harper, the Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean, has become the twelfth candidate to put his name forwards for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

The current candidates are now:

James Cleverley
Michael Gove
Matt Hancock
Mark Harper
Jeremy Hunt
Sajid Javid
Boris Johnson
Andrea Leadsom
Kit Malthouse
Esther McVey
Dominic Raab
Rory Stewart

Hizballah Group Banned in the UK

Sajid Javid

The measures introduced by the Government to ban the terrorist groups of Hizballah, Ansaroul Islam and Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam Wal-Muslimin (JNIM) have come into force today. It will now be an offence under the 2000 Terrorism Act to either be a member of these groups or to canvass support for the groups.

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, said in a statement:

“My priority as Home Secretary is to protect the British people. As part of this, we identify and ban any terrorist organisation which threatens our safety and security, whatever their motivations or ideology which is why I am taking action against several organisations today.

Hizballah is continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East – and we are no longer able to distinguish between their already banned military wing and the political party. Because of this, I have taken the decision to proscribe the group in its entirety.”

Liz Truss Apologies for Conduct of Sir Christopher Chope

Liz Truss, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has apologised for the conduct of Sir Christopher Chope in blocking the progress of an anti-FGM bill. In a fierce attack on the backbench MP she said:

“When I see one of my colleagues opposing a measure which could have saved girls’ lives, could have saved girls from that horrendous experience, I’m absolutely appalled.”

Referring to Chope’s behaviour, Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, also attacked the MP:

“Very disappointed by this. FGM is child abuse. I am determined to stamp out this despicable and medieval practice. We will do all we can protect girls at risk.”

James Brokenshire, the Communities Secretary, also condemned Chope, saying:

“I’m just hugely disappointed.”

The chairman of the Conservative Association for Christchurch, Chope’s constituency, confirmed that there will be a meeting held to discuss the MP’s behaviour.

Government Announces New Measures to Tackle Rough Sleeping

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has announced new measures which are aimed to tackle the problem of rough sleeping. £30 million will be made available to local councils with a new rough sleeping team being appointed from across Government departments.

Javid said in a statement:

“This winter has tragically claimed the lives of a number of people sleeping on the streets. This is completely unacceptable in modern Britain. No one should ever have to sleep rough and this government is determined to break the homelessness cycle once and for all.

Tackling the causes of rough sleeping is undoubtedly complex but we must do all we can – working across central and local government, the voluntary and charity sector – to help the most vulnerable in society and eliminate rough sleeping for good”.

John Healey, the Shadow Housing Secretary, said that more funding was needed and added:

“You can’t help the homeless if you won’t provide the homes, and the money announced here is less than 1% of the Conservatives’ annual cut to funding for new low-cost housing”.

Sajid Javid Makes Statement on Troubled Northamptonshire County Council

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has made a statement in the House of Commons on troubled Northamptonshire County Council. He said that the council had been failing for many years and that there were significant financial failings within the organisation.

Javid said, referring to the independent report written by Max Caller:

“Northamptonshire’s failures are not down to a lack of funding or because it is being treated unfairly or is uniquely disadvantaged compared to other councils.

In fact, his report says that:

“for a number of years, NCC has failed to manage its budget and has not taken effective steps to introduce and maintain budgetary control”. Furthermore, the complex structure of financial support meant oversight was difficult and accountability blurred.

This report says that Northamptonshire’s Next Generation approach – which envisaged outsourcing many of the council’s functions – had no:

“hard edged business plan or justification to support these proposals”.

This “…made it difficult to ensure a line of sight over costs and operational activity” and “made it impossible for the council, as a whole to have any clarity or understanding as to what was going on”.

Similarly, the inspector found that Northamptonshire County Council used capital receipts to support revenue spend without documentary evidence demonstrating compliance with the Statutory Guidance and Direction”.

Javid concluded:

“With all of this mind, it is clear that I must consider whether further action is necessary to secure compliance with the Best Value duty. In doing so, I want to reassure the residents of Northamptonshire that essential services will continue to be delivered.

The Inspector is clear that “the problems faced by NCC are now so deep and ingrained that it is not possible to promote a recovery plan that could bring the council back to stability and safety in a reasonable timescale.”

He recommends that “a way forward, with a clean sheet, leaving all the history behind, is required”. I am therefore minded to appoint Commissioners to oversee the Authority using my powers under section 15 of the Local Government Act 1999.

From day 1, I propose that they take direct control over the council’s financial management and overall governance”.

Heather Smith Resigns as Leader of Northamptonshire County Council After Report Suggests Entire Authority Should be Scrapped

Heather Smith, the leader of the troubled Northamptonshire County Council, has resigned following a report that the council should be abolished and replaced by two new authorities. The independent report had been commissioned by Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and he is expected to announce his intentions for the council shortly.

Matthew Golby, the Deputy Leader of the Council, said in a statement:

“While I am pleased the report recognises the hard work and dedication of the staff and recognises recent progress in financial management it is clear that the inspector has found what he believes to be significant failings at the council.

We accept the findings and we will now be acting accordingly and responding directly to the secretary of state.

While the report accepts the figures we use in arguing our case for fairer funding, it states we are in no worse position than other councils. We would argue that the sector as a whole does face significant financial challenges and we will continue to work with our local government partners to present our case.

While we will make these points in our response, we should in no way hide away from the general thrust of this report.

We will now be reviewing the report is far further detail and respond directly to the Secretary of State”.