Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid, candidate for the Conservative Party leadership, speaks during the launch of the book “Britain Beyond Brexit”, in London, Britain June 10, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s interior minister Sajid Javid, one of the candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister, said it was odd that he was not invited to a royal banquet with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Javid, who is of Muslim heritage, was the only senior cabinet minister not invited to the event during Trump’s state visit at which guests dined in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth.
The prime minister, the foreign minister, the finance minister, the cabinet office minister, the environment minister, the defence minister and the trade minister all attended.
“I don’t like it. For the reason that you have just said. It is odd,” he told BBC radio when asked why other senior ministers attended the dinner but not him.
Javid said he asked the prime minister’s office why he was not invited, but was told that interior ministers were not always invited to such events.
“My office did ask Number 10 and they said no,” he said.
When asked if he thought it was because of his Muslim background: “No. I am not saying that at all. I really don’t know.”
Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Editing by William Schomberg