Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the bullying of a 15-year-old Syrian refugee reminded him of being targeted by racist bullies at school, as a former classmate reveals his tormentor.
Mr Javid said he was ‘absolutely outraged’ by the video of the attack on Jamal, which sparked a public outcry.
A former classmate of Mr Javid has now revealed the man who bullied him was called Terry Brine, who later served in the Navy during the Gulf War before running a plastering business, according to The Telegraph.
Upon witnessing the video Mr Javid said the assault brought ‘memories flooding back’ from his own schooldays in Bristol, when he was attacked for being Asian.
A former classmate of Sajid Javid’s has revealed the man who picked on him was Terry Brine (pictured)
Mr Javid, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘It reminded me of an incident I had when I was at school,’
‘I hated it.
‘When I was 11 I had just started my comprehensive school.
‘Those memories flooded back to me.’
He added: ‘How can this kind of thing still be going on?
But Mr Javid, a second generation immigrant whose family came from Pakistan, said the response of the British public had showed the country’s true nature.
‘The general population was outraged,’ he said. ‘That says something really important about us as people.’
According to one of Mr Javid’s classmates at Stockwell Hill, called Lee Churchill, the name ‘Sajid Javid’ elicited laughs in assembly.
Sajid Javid (pictured) has revealed he was targeted by bullies as a schoolboy (right). Mr Javid said the assault on a Syrian refugee brought ‘memories flooding back’ from his own in Bristol, when he was attacked for being Asian
Mr Churchill also said Mr Brine used to say the word ‘p***’, when he saw Mr Javid and in a playground confrontation, the young boys were seen ‘pushing and shoving’ each other.
But Mr Brine later came to regret his behaviour and apologised to Mr Javid.
Father-of-three Mr Brine died of cancer, aged 40, in 2010 and his widow Rachel said if the incident with Mr Javid happened, he never discussed it with her.
Mrs Brine, 44, described her late husband as a ‘gentleman.’
‘My husband never told me about it – how many of us can remember things like this that from when were 11?,’ she said.
‘My husband was a gentleman, not a bully of any kind.’
She added : ‘I know he (Terry) was a bit of a git at school, but then he went to the Navy when he was about 18.
‘He said it was probably the best thing he did, because it gave him authority and discipline and it sorted him out.’
Mr Javid has previously spoken of his tough experiences at Downend School on the outskirts of Bristol.
And revealed he bumped into the boy who abused him about 10 years later in Bristol, prior to becoming a politician.
‘I bumped into him in a shopping centre lift.
He said: ‘Sajid isn’t it? I’m sorry for what I did,’ and we shook hands.’
Jamal, 15, was pinned down and ‘waterboarded’ by a bigger child at Almondbury Community School in the footage that went viral
Mr Javid said he had sent a personal letter and hoped to meet Jamal and his family for a ‘cup of tea’ at some stage.
Jamal’s family fled their home after being caught up in the civil war and spent six years as refugees in Lebanon before coming to the UK under a UN programme in 2016.
But both Jamal and his 13-year-old sister have suffered separate attacks.
He said in a TV interview that bullies had made their lives a misery – but also urged people not to retaliate. ‘I was feeling unsafe everywhere. I woke up at night and just started crying,’ he said.
Shocked members of the public have donated more than £130,000 to help give the family a fresh start.
They are said to be hoping to use the funds from the appeal to move away from Huddersfield.