Why did Sajid Javid resign as chancellor? Resignation explained as Javid becomes new health secretary

The appointment came after video footage emerged showing Matt Hancock kissing his aide in a breach of Covid restrictions

Prior to this appointment, Mr Javid held the position of chancellor, before leaving this role in 2020.

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But why did Sajid Javid resign as chancellor?

Sajid Javid has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sajid Javid has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know.

Why did Sajid Javid resign as chancellor?

In February 2020, Sajid Javid shocked Westminster by quitting as chancellor in the middle of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Javid left his position after rejecting the Prime Minister's order to fire his team of aides.

Appointed in July 2019, Mr Javid was just six months into his role as chancellor - and less than a month away from delivering his first Budget - when he quit after being told he must sack all his advisers if he wanted to keep his job in a Cabinet reshuffle.

He was the shortest-serving chancellor since Iain Macleod, who died shortly after taking office in 1970, according to the Institute for Government.

Mr Javid was replaced as chancellor by Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak.

At the time of his resignation, Mr Javid said "no self-respecting minister" could accept such a condition.

In his resignation letter, Mr Javid explained he could not accept the Prime Minister’s conditions.

He said: "I believe it is important as leaders to have trusted teams that reflect the character and integrity that you would wish to be associated with."

His resignation also followed rumours of tensions between Mr Javid and Dominic Cummings, who was senior adviser to the Prime Minister before he left Downing Street in November 2020 after internal battles over his role.

What will Sajid Javid do as the new Health Secretary?

Mr Javid returns to the Cabinet to help lead the Covid pandemic response at a crucial time, with efforts focused on suppressing a rise in Covid-19 cases ahead of the planned easing of restrictions in July.

After his appointment as the new Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said he is “incredibly honoured” to take up the post, especially “during such an important moment in our recovery from Covid-19.”

Mr Javid added: “This position comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to deliver for the people of this great country.”

“Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our NHS and social care staff who work tirelessly every day, and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we have made enormous progress in the battle against this dreadful disease. I want our country to get out of this pandemic and that will be my most immediate priority,” said Mr Javid.