Home Secretary Sajid Javid will 'launch a leadership contest' if Theresa May's Brexit deal collapses and the PM is forced out

Home Secretary Sajid Javid will 'launch a leadership contest' if Theresa May's Brexit deal collapses and the PM is forced out

The Home Secretary has spent two weeks recruiting Cabinet ministers to support his bid to be the first non-white PM.

One Cabinet minister told The Sun: “Sajid is tapping us up. He is very direct, but he’s not offering jobs yet, which wouldn’t be a good look”.

Another senior Tory disclosed: “He told me that Theresa’s Brexit deal is s***, she’ll be forced out when it falls, and he is then going to declare immediately”.

The revelation comes as a series of other Tory big beasts publicly flirted with running for the party’s crown yesterday as beleaguered Mrs May’s reign looked close to the end.

With her Premiership predicted to collapse if her EU deal is heavily defeated in the Commons on Tuesday night, The Sun has also been told that ambitious Mr Javid has already begun to build a team for a leadership challenge.

His Commons aide, Tory MP Simon Hoare, and close pal the Treasury minister John Glen are also said to be tapping up backbenchers on his behalf.

Mr Javid is thought by MPs to be acting fast as most Tory MPs predict a Brexiteer will win the next leadership contest with the votes of most party members, so the former Remain-backing Home Secretary will need to build a big lead to prevail.

The 49 year-old former banker is eyeing up an alliance with Commons Leader and Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom to burnish his Leave credentials.

The pair, who have adjoining Commons offices, are holding joint Christmas drinks next week.

But friends of Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt dismissed a claim yesterday that he had already allied himself with Mr Javid, and said Mr Hunt is being urged to run himself.

The pair are at odds on how well Britain could survive a no deal Brexit, with the Home Secretary fearing it could be too disastrous to attempt.

Mr Javid, the son of a Pakistani migrant bus driver, has an impeccable back story that carves him out from other Cabinet contenders and would pitch himself as the unity candidate for the party.

Approached by The Sun last night, Mr Glen admitted he has talked up Mr Javid as a potential leader of the future to fellow Tory MPs, but also insisted: “I fully support the PM and the efforts she has been making. No vacancy exists at the current time”.

Mr Hoare said the claim that he was canvassing was “absolute bollocks”.

At least 15 senior Tory are considering a serious run for the party’s leadership.

Long standing Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson also repeatedly refused to rule out challenging Mrs May in sparky exchanges with the BBC1 presenter Andrew Marr yesterday.

The former Foreign Secretary increased suspicions he was ready to knife Mrs May by sporting a short new hair cut, dubbed “a smart Prime Ministerial crop”.

But Boris described the accusation that he has already offered Cabinet jobs if he becomes PM as “nonsense”, and accused Marr of “reducing the debate to relative trivialities” by asking about his leadership hopes.

Brexiteer former Cabinet ministers Dominic Raab and Esther McVey also said they would contemplate a run for the nation’s top job.

Mr Raab said: “I’ve always said I wouldn’t rule it out, but I’m not going to get sucked in to that debate”.

Ms McVey added: “If people asked me, then of course you’d give it serious consideration”.

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