Sajid Javid’s claims of openness about his finances ring rather hollow

The health secretary failed to disclose that he used an offshore trust when he was an MP and a Treasury aide, writes John Rentoul

Friday 29 April 2022 08:59
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<p>Javid claimed that his non-dom status until 2009, before he entered parliament the following year, was not relevant</p>

Javid claimed that his non-dom status until 2009, before he entered parliament the following year, was not relevant

It seems surprising that someone could be a plausible candidate to be prime minister in this day and age without the people knowing important facts about their financial interests. This was true of Rishi Sunak, who seems to have thought it was fine for him to be chancellor without people knowing that his spouse was a non-dom, and who in January came close to being a candidate in a Conservative leadership election.

And it is true of Sajid Javid, the health secretary, who did actually stand for the Tory leadership in 2019 without declaring his own past non-dom status. That was information that he volunteered only after The Independent revealed Sunak’s wife’s non-dom status earlier this month.

In both cases, the ministers tried to claim that the information did not need to be made public. Sunak said he had told the permanent secretaries of his departments, and Lord Geidt, the independent adviser on ministerial interests, gave him a clean bill of ethical health yesterday.

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