UK Chancellor Sajid Javid has brushed aside reports that he had had a row with his boss, Boris Johnson, over the reported sacking of one of his aides by the Prime Minister’s key advisor.
Javid declined to discuss the widely reported firing of Sonia Khan in an interview with the BBC.
“I am not going to discuss any personnel issues. It would be inappropriate,” Javid said, before adding: “My relationship is fantastic with the Prime Minister.”
Khan was sacked abruptly Thursday night by Johnson advisor Dominic Cummings, Britain’s Press Association and other British media reported. Cummings was a key architect of the 2016 Brexit campaign.
British media linked the firing of Khan to the leak of government forecasts about what would happen under a no-deal Brexit. The Sunday Times reported details of the forecasts, code-named Operation Yellowhammer, on August 18.
Asked about the leak and the consequences of a no-deal Brexit on the economy, Javid – the country’s finance minister – admitted that the government “doesn’t know” how the economy would be affected.
He added: “Whether there is a deal or no deal, no government knows how their economy is going to perform.”
Javid was also pressed to comment on his previous criticism of the use of prorogation – the suspension of Parliament – which he equated to “thrashing democracy” in a Channel 4 leadership debate in June.
Javid was a Conservative Party leadership contender at the time. He lost out to Johnson, who announced this week that Parliament would be suspended for part of September and October.
In June, Javid said of prorogation: “We are not selecting a dictator of our country, we are selecting a prime minister of our country.”
But on Saturday, he told the BBC the quote was “taken completely out of context” and this prorogation was about a new prime minister exercising his prerogative for a Queen’s Speech and setting out a new course.
Javid added Parliament will have “plenty of time” for debating Brexit.