Javid has an almighty task on his hands – before he even gets to Brexit

PUBLISHED: 00:00 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:20 01 May 2018

New home secretary Sajid Javid
Photo: PA / Yui Mok

New home secretary Sajid Javid Photo: PA / Yui Mok

PA Archive/PA Images

Losing Amber Rudd from the Brexit war cabinet is a blow to the Remain cause.

She was perhaps the only truly sensible voice on Brexit that carried real weight around the cabinet table aside from the chancellor.

Sajid Javid campaigned for Remain but he is unlikely to square up to the Brexiteers inside government in the way Rudd did. Hopefully Rudd will not go quietly to the backbenchers. If she teams up with Nicky Morgan and the other members of the Tory awkward squad she could be the antidote to Rees-Mogg’s poison.

Beyond Brexit Javid arrives at the Home Office with an in-tray overflowing in the wake of a spike in violent crimes – especially in a capital gripped by gang violence – and the continuing fallout from the Windrush scandal.

First on his ‘to do’ list will be to placate the Windrush generation and bat away damaging claims that the “hostile environment” created by Theresa May when she was home secretary means turfing out anyone who can’t trace their ancestry back to the Battle of Hastings. It won’t be easy.

This year has seen a deadly spate of murders on London’s streets. And across the nation police recorded rises in knife attacks last year. Battling that and the fear of violence among the public is a huge task – especially if he will have to continue with the line that a reduction in front-line police officers has not had a negative impact.

And then there is Brexit. Recent events have prompted questions about whether the Home Office can manage the vast bureaucratic exercise associated with Britain’s departure from the European Union.

Later this year, the process of assigning status to more than three million EU nationals living in the UK will begin, while the department will be responsible for implementing whatever new immigration system is brought in at the end of the implementation period in 2020.

Good luck Mr Javid – you are going to need it.

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