Sajid Javid says it was 'odd' that he was blocked from attending Trump banquet and 'I don't like it'

Business Insider | Jun 13, 2019, 01.42PM IST

trump javid


Donald Trump and Sajid Javid.

  • Sajid Javid says it was "odd" that he was blocked from attending the recent state banquet with Trump.
  • The Home Secretary, who is from a Muslim background, was the only senior cabinet minister not to receive an invite.
  • Javid says he asked Downing Street why he had been blocked and was told that Home Secretaries aren't usually invited.
  • Muslim groups have accused the UK government of pandering to racism by failing to invite Javid.
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.

LONDON - Sajid Javid says he was blocked by Number 10 from attending the recent state banquet with Donald Trump, despite all other senior members of Theresa May's Cabinet being invited.

The Home Secretary, who is from a Muslim background, told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that he thought it was "odd" that he hadn't been invited despite more junior members of the Cabinet.

"I don't like it for the reason you have just said," Javid told the programme.

"It is odd. My office did ask Number 10 [the prime minister's office] and they said no, so you would have to ask somebody from Number 10 why they made that decision."

Asked whether he believed he was blocked because of his background and Trump's views about Muslims, he replied: "No I'm not saying that at all. I really don't know. I haven't got an answer."

Other senior cabinet ministers present at the banquet with Trump included the Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor Philip Hammond, the cabinet office minister David Lidington, the Environment Secretary Michael Gove, the Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and the International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

Last week the Muslim Council wrote to the prime minister, criticising the decision to exclude Javid, who is currently running to replace May as prime minister.

"There are fears that our nation is willing to give up on our principles of fairness and equality for all, in order to placate President Trump, even going so far as to exclude our home secretary solely due to his Muslim heritage," Harun Khan, the secretary general of the MCB, wrote.

Javid had previously criticised the president for appearing to endorse the far-right group Britain First. In 2017, Javid tweeted that "POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing."

However, he is not the only senior Conservative politician to have previously publicly lambasted Trump. When the current frontrunner to become Britain's next prime minister, Boris Johnson, was Mayor of London, he labeled Trump "stupefyingly ignorant" and "unfit to hold the office of President of the United States."

Trump has since gone on to all but endorse Johnson for prime minister.

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