DOWNING Street has denied Sajid Javid was excluded from the state banquet for Donald Trump because of his Muslim background.
The home secretary said he had yet to receive a proper explanation as to why he was not on the guest list for the formal dinner at Buckingham Palace during the US president’s state visit last week.
His comments, during a BBC radio interview, prompted former Tory Party chairman Baroness Farsi to suggest his absence was linked to his Muslim heritage.
‘To use my own phrase from 2011: “Islamophobia has passed the dinner table test”,’ she tweeted.
Theresa May’s official spokesman replied: ‘Categorically untrue.’ He added: ‘The prime minister is proud to have appointed Sajid Javid as the country’s first Muslim home secretary.’
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Javid said he had wanted to attend but was snubbed, while both defence secretary Penny Mordaunt and environment secretary Michael Gove went, despite holding junior posts.
He said: ‘I don’t like it. It is odd… You’d have to ask someone from No.10 why they made that decision.’
A No.10 spokesman blamed ‘limited places’, adding: ‘A large number of ministers who expressed a wish to attend were not able to do so.’
A Downing Street source also said Mr Javid’s criticism of Mr Trump after the president tweeted his support for the right-wing Britain First group was ‘not a factor’.