Sajid Javid: Exclusion from Trump state banquet 'odd'

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid has said his exclusion from the state banquet held for US President Donald Trump was “odd”.

Several other ministers, including Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt, attended the event earlier this month.

Mr Javid has previously criticised Mr Trump after he shared tweets from far-right group Britain First in 2017.

Of his exclusion, Mr Javid said: “I don’t like it. It is odd.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Javid said: “My office did ask Number 10 [for a reason] and they said ‘No’.”

Asked if he thought his exclusion was due to his Muslim background, Mr Javid said: “I am not saying that at all. I really don’t know.”

He said he was told by Number 10 that “normally” invitations “don’t always” go to home secretaries.

In a Twitter clash with Mr Trump in 2017, he criticised the President for re-tweeting a tweet from the far-right organisation Britain First.

He said the president had endorsed a “vile hate-filled organisation that hates me and people like me”.

Other politicians including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Commons Speaker John Bercow, Lib Dems Leader Vince Cable and SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford refused an invitation to attend the banquet at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Corbyn, who later joined the protest against Mr Trump, argued it would be wrong to “roll out the red carpet” for the US president, whom he accused of using “racist and misogynist rhetoric”.

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