Rishi Sunak's response to Sajid Javid stepping down at next election is pure cringe

Related video: Sajid Javid says he will 'never risk losing integrity' during PMQs resignation …

Rishi Sunak's response to Sajid Javid announcing he will stand down at the next general election is completely cringe.

The former chancellor and health minister said he will not run as MP for Bromsgrove again, and in doing so joined a swelling rank of young (by politician's standards) Tories who have said they will not do so.

He said: "After much reflection I have decided that I will not be standing again at the next General Election. Serving as the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove remains an incredible privilege, and I will continue to support the Government and the causes I believe in."

People reacted to his news by wishing him well but it was his boss' and former employer's reaction that really stood out.

Prime minister Sunak said: "Sad to see my good friend @sajidjavid stepping back from politics.

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"He’s been a proud champion of enterprise and opportunity during his time in Government and on the backbenches - particularly for the people of Bromsgrove.

"May the Force be with you, Saj."

The cringe Star Wars reference seems a bit weird, but the two go way back when it comes to the franchise.

The Telegraph says Sunak kept a Coca-Cola bottle shaped like a Star Wars grenade on his desk at No 11 and he has said himself on numerous occasions what a fan he is.

As for the two of them, in 2019 Sunak posted a picture of them both at the cinema, when he was chief secretary to the treasury and Javid was chancellor, where they had just been to see The Rise of Skywalker.

"Great night out with the boss - Jedi Master," wrote Sunak.

And when Javid resigned as chancellor in February 2020, he tweeted about his successor: "The Force is strong in young Sunak."

Meanwhile Javid has become the 12th Conservative to say they don't want to fight the next election, increasing speculation that they don't fancy their chances at beating Labour, who have been ahead of the Tories in the polls for some time.

Yesterday, the Tories lost the first by-election they have faced sine Boris Johnson and Liz Truss resigned, fuelling a growing sense that the Tories' time in office might finally be expiring.

We can't wait until Tory rule is consigned to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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