Sajid Javid: the Thatcherite son of a bus conductor now in charge of Britain's business policy

Daily Telegraph

Sajid Javid hung his portrait of Margaret Thatcher in his office at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport when he took over the job in 2013, turning down the chance to decorate his wall with a piece from the Government art collection.

The former culture minister, part of the 2010 parliamentary intake, has repeatedly declared his admiration for the economist Friedrich Von Hayek and helped to found the Free Enterprise Group, whose members have called for smaller Government and less business regulation.

His support for free markets will prove an asset in one of the first jobs he must perform as Business Secretary: acting on behalf of the UK in the negotiations between Europe and the US for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Vince Cable, Mr Javid’s predecessor, had complained that TTIP was perceived as a Trojan Horse to privatise the NHS.

Mr Javid will also be fielding calls from numerous business groups looking to make their point on the forthcoming European referendum. Mr Javid, whose career before politics spanned three continents, has previously said that leaving the EU “isn’t something that I’d be afraid of, I’d embrace the opportunities that would create”.

Mr Javid has spent his working life in the world of finance, benefiting from the deregulation of Mrs Thatcher's Big Bang reforms. He joined the American bank Chase Manhattan after an economics and politics degree at Exeter, becoming the bank’s youngest ever vice president, aged 25.

In 2000 he joined Deutsche Bank, moving to Singapore six years later to run the bank’s global credit trading office there.

When he left to run for the safe Conservative seat of Bromsgrove in 2009, he left a £3m pay packet, according to estimates from Bloomberg.

His success in the finance world can be seen as part of his “rags to riches” back story, often repeated during his rapid rise through the Conservative Government. Mr Javid’s feather, Abdul, arrived in Britain from Pakistan in 1961, “touchingly but mistakenly” with a £1 note that he believed would pay for his first month in the country.

Mr Javid Senior worked as a bus conductor and driver, earning the nickname "Mr Night and Day" for the hours he worked, according to his son.

Mr Javid Junior is one of five sons who grew up in Rochdale and Bristol.

A careers adviser at his comprehensive school once advised him to become a TV repair man.

Instead, his rapid ascendancy through banking and then politics saw him become one of George Osborne’s key allies at the Treasury in 2012, before Maria Miller’s resignation opened a space as Culture Secretary.

The Thatcher portrait will presumably follow him across Westminster to Business, Innovation and Skills.