HENRY DEEDES: Mild-mannered no more, The Saj is now a mouthy bad cop - Mr No ...

Back when Spitting Image was in its pomp the best laughs were provided by Norman Tebbit, who was portrayed as Maggie Thatcher's hired goon.

He was a snarling, mildly sadistic figure who wore bikers' leathers and wielded a policeman's cosh for cracking Cabinet skulls.

Since moving to the Home Office last year, Sajid Javid has slotted neatly into this richly comic role with aplomb.

Sajid Javid, who reportedly refers to himself as 'The Saj', was appointed Home Secretary last year

Sajid Javid, who reportedly refers to himself as 'The Saj', was appointed Home Secretary last year

On immigration and counter-terrorism 'The Saj', once a mild-mannered, wouldn't-say-boo-to-a-goose figure, is now the Government's mouthy bad cop. The Prime Minister's Mr No-Nonsense.

He was up before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday. Top of the agenda: Shamima Begum, the British teenager-turned-IS bride whose citizenship the Saj has snatched away since she asked to return from Syria.

'Emotive' is not a word I would use to describe his performance. Chairman of the committee, drippy Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) repeatedly raised the issue of Miss Begum's week-old child.

Immigrant's son Mr Javid – a self-made chap who trousered squillions as a City trader – is clearly a man who is sure in his own views. Nor was he afraid to express them bluntly. Throughout his grilling, he was adamant. Unrepentant Miss Begum remains a threat to the homeland, nipper or no nipper.

Would Saj's predecessor, wealthy stockbroker's daughter and Cheltenham Ladies' College alumna Amber Rudd, have been able to adopt such a dogged position in the circumstances? Discuss, as they say in academe.

Labour's Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston) asked whether it was 'morally right to export the problem', rather than deal with Miss Begum's case through UK courts.

Mr Javid insisted his priority was to protect the UK. Asked again if he thought this was

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