Three Indian-origin politicians were on Thursday (February 13) inducted into British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. The move to induct Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel and Alok Sharma into the council of ministers came as a part of a cabinet reshuffle.
Rishi Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, has been appointed UK’s finance minister and will join Home secretary Priti Patel.
Earlier, Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid resigned as Chancellor in a shock move in one of the biggest shakeups since Johnson won a thumping majority in the December 2019 general election.
He is replaced by Sunak, who was until now Javid’s junior as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and seen as a rising star within the Cabinet.
The 39-year-old is set to move into No. 11 Downing Street, next door to the Prime Minister’s Office as he takes charge of the second most important government position as the finance minister.
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“The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of the Exchequer,” Downing Street said in the official announcement.
The MP for Richmond in Yorkshire, married to Murthy’s daughter Akshata, first entered the UK Parliament in 2015 and has fast risen up the Conservative Party ranks as a staunch Brexiteer who had back Johnsons strategy to leave the European Union (EU).
The UK-born son of a pharmacist mother and a National Health Service (NHS) general practitioner (GP) father is an Oxford University and Stanford graduate.
“From working in my mum’s tiny chemist shop to my experience building large businesses, I have seen how we should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure Britain has a stronger future,” Sunak had said during the Brexit referendum.
He co-founded a 1-billion pound global investment firm and specialised in investing in small British businesses before his entry into politics. He strongly believes that small businesses in the UK would flourish as a result of Brexit as the vast majority of British businesses (94 per cent) don’t have anything to do with the EU; but they are still subject to all EU law.
Similarly, International Development Secretary Alok Sharma has been appointed business secretary and minister for the upcoming climate conference COP26, in Glasgow. He is being replaced at the international development department by junior defence minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
Indian-origin Suella Braverman is expected to get a promotion in this week’s Cabinet reshuffle, dubbed a purge due to some high-profile resignations and sackings expected.
(With inputs from agencies)