Sajid Javid has urged the prime minister to ensure the Treasury retains “as much credibility as possible” following his departure as chancellor yesterday.
Chief Treasury secretary Rishi Sunak was promoted to replace Javid yesterday in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle.
In his resignation letter to Johnson yesterday, Javid confirmed that he had been offered the option of staying on as chancellor in the prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle but had turned it down.
He was reportedly told he could only remain in post if he agreed to sack all of his special advisers and agree to a joint team of spads being put in place across the Treasury and No.10.
“I regret that I could not accept the conditions attached to the reappointment. It is crucial for the effectiveness of government that you have people around you who can give you clear and candid advice, as I have always sought to do,” he wrote.
“I also believe that it is important as leaders to have trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would wish to be associated with.”
Javid said he would continue to support the government's policy agenda but added: “I would urge you to ensure the Treasury as an institution retains as much credibility as possible.”
Javid also used his letter, which he shared on Twitter, to publicly acknowledge the work of civil servants he has worked with at the exchequer.
“The team there has impressed me with the energy and intellect they have brought to delivering the shifts in policy that I have led,” he said.
“They are among the very best public servants we have and I hope they can continue to play a central role in driving an economic agenda that puts people and place at its heart.”
It has been a privilege to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Prime Minister & government will continue to have my full support from the backbenches. pic.twitter.com/cFo0fuaqv2
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) February 13, 2020
Javid was the most high-profile departure of yesterday’s reshuffle, which had otherwise been set to be a far less wide-ranging changing of the guard than had been previously anticipated.
Most secretaries of state stayed in post but environment secretary Theresa Villers, business secretary Andrea Leadsom and Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith were sacked in the reshuffle, while Baroness Nicky Morgan stood down as planned.
Environment minister George Eustice was promoted to the top of his department to replace Villiers, while international development secretary Alok Sharma took over as business secretary – and was replaced at DfID by defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelan. Home Office minister Brandon Lewis was promoted to Northern Ireland secretary, while Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden took on the top job at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
See the full list of yesterday's appointments here.