POLITICS
05/10/2015 12:15 BST | Updated 05/10/2015 12:59 BST

Business Secretary Sajid Javid Says He Is 'Right' On Trade Union Reform Because He Is Being Called a 'Vampire' And 'Class Traitor'

PAUL ELLIS via Getty Images
British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid (L) arrives to address delegates on the second day of the annual Conservative party conference in Manchester, north west England, on October 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Conservative Cabinet minister Sajid Javid has thrown back the trade union claim he is a "class traitor", arguing it shows the Government has it "right" on trade union reform.

Business Secretary Mr Javid, the son of Pakistani bus driver, made repeated references to being brought up "above the family shop", as he renewed the Tory claim to being the "party of working people".

He made a staunch defence of the Trade Union Bill, which critics argue weakens workers' right to strike but supporters say reins in the power of the unions. Unite union boss Len McCluskey has compared him to Dracula, sucking workers' "blood".

But at the Tory conference in Manchester, a day after 60,000 people attended a Trade Union Conference rally in the city, Mr Javid said: "There are those from Labour who describe me as a class traitor.

"Len McCluskey says I’m a vampire, sucking the life from worker’s rights. And he says this because we promised trade union reform in our manifesto, a manifesto that won us a clear majority at the election."

He added: "If Red Len’s best defence is to call me a class traitor, then I know what we’re doing is absolutely right."

Mr Javid, seen as a potential Tory leader, blasted Jeremy Corbyn for leading "same old Labour" that "fights class war".

"They stick to their dogmatic ideology, an ideology that ignores the needs of the country and pulls people down rather than raising them up," he said.

Pointing to cutting income tax bills and creating "more jobs in Britain over five years than the rest of the EU put together" under the "party of working people" refrain, he said: "We are the party for the people raising their kids in the flat above the family shop."