BROMSGROVE MP Sajid Javid said it had been ‘an immense privilege’ to set out his vision for the country during his ‘Brexit and beyond’ leadership campaign.
Mr Javid spoke to The Standard after being eliminated yesterday in the fourth ballot of the contest to become the next Prime Minister.
He said the support he had received from constituents, the community and his colleagues had been ‘truly humbling’, adding he was proud to have made the case for a Conservative Party that healed division, created opportunity and embraced modern Britain.
The campaign, revealed first on May 27 on the Bromsgrove Standard website, began with the Home Secretary promising to put 20,000 police officers back on the streets if he became PM.
During the following four weeks Mr Javid mapped out his plans for Brexit, education, the NHS, social care and other issues.
He said his agenda was aimed at prioritising education, rebalancing the economy and protecting the most vulnerable.
“I’m proud to have led a campaign that put a high value on honesty, decency and integrity.”
He received widespread praise on social media after he – during a live TV debate – rallied the other candidates into agreeing to hold an external investigation into levels of Islamaphobia in the Conservative Party.
A spokesperson for the campaign said: “It wasn’t a political calculation or gambit, Sajid took action because it was the right thing to do.
“Conversations on anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim hatred are needed right across society.
“Sajid is confident the Conservative Party has no more of a problem with anti-Muslim hatred than any other organisation.
“What he’s clear on is that the Conservatives must always be at the forefront of tackling racism of all kinds – something that sadly cannot be said of all our political parties.”
Reflecting on the campaign Mr Javid said if his ambition and conduct in the contest set an example for anyone it had been more than worth it, adding he wanted to get across to young people that they could achieve their dreams.
“This is my message to those children growing up as I did, who look and feel a bit different to their classmates, who wonder whether opportunity is just for other people.
“Work hard, have faith in your abilities and don’t let anyone discourage you from aiming high.
“You have as much right as anyone to a seat at the table, and make your voice heard.
“Seize every opportunity this wonderful country presents to you with both hands.
“Your – and our – best days lie ahead.”
In the earlier vote, favourite Boris Johnson polled 157, Michael Gove in second notched up 61, Jeremy Hunt was third with 59 and Mr Javid was fourth with 37.
Another vote takes place this afternoon with the final two due to be named at 6pm.
Mr Javid said he was still considering who to vote for in this next round and was currently not endorsing any of the candidates,