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Villagers still come first

Posted on May 27 2014 at 10:03:17

Sajid

Village MP and newly-appointed Culture Secretary Sajid Javid insists that he’s still committed to his constituents, despite the added pressures of his national role.

“I have always said that my constituents come first, and that is still the case,” he told The Village before a street surgery in Alvechurch.

“The only reason I’m in a position to be offered this new role is down to the support of people in Bromsgrove, and that means a lot.

“In my previous job [as financial secretary to the Treasury] I was already required to spend time in London on national business, so I learned to balance my time between national and constituency interests.”

Mr Javid says he will still be working for his constituents when he’s In London – answering correspondence and calls, and receiving visitors such as lobby groups, charities and school parties – and will continue to host surgeries around Bromsgrove: 

“I think street surgeries like today’s are very important – passers-by can just say hi or ask me something, and I get to hear what’s important to them.”

He says of his new role that there’s a lot to learn, as his remit (Culture, Media and Sport) also covers the tourism and creative industries and telecommunications.

His recent tweets about all things sporting and cultural suggest he’s throwing himself into the job, but would he describe himself as a culture-vulture?

“Well, not really – it’s not like I’m at the theatre every weekend,” he admits.

“To be honest, most of my spare time over the past few years has been spent with my kids, so any cultural activities have been to suit them – Science Museum, children’s movies, and of course Avoncroft Museum, which they just love!”

In terms of sport, he says he likes to watch tennis and international football, and goes running several times a week both in London and in Bromsgrove: “It’s great being in a semi-rural area, because I get to see my constituency in a different way.”

So, given his background is in finance rather than any of the areas covered by his new role, was he surprised to get the job?

“It was certainly unexpected – you would usually only get a new job if there’s a major reshuffle.

“These weren’t the best circumstances, but the Prime Minister had to make a decision and if he felt that I was the right person for job, who was I to say no? I was delighted to accept.”

He says the most important part of his role will be to help the culture sector to grow, and feels his financial background will be useful in helping attract resources.

“We want to help the cultural sector to help itself, and to widen access so that culture and sport are open to all.

“I’d also like to ensure that existing money from the government or the lottery doesn’t neglect the regions by being too London-centric.”

He’s circumspect about his future ambitions, stating that the party leadership – for which many are tipping him – isn’t something he thinks about.

“I was only elected in 2010. . . it was an honour to represent the people of Bromsgrove, and now even more so at a higher level.

“I’m ready to serve my country in whatever capacity arises.”

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