UK cabinet gets a desi makeover; three ministers of Indian-origin get top roles

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 14, 2020

File Photo of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.   -  Bloomberg

After a landslide victory in the 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed three ministers of Indian origin to his Cabinet of 21. The three ministers — Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma, and Priti Patel — have held top roles in the UK government, according to media reports.

As James Cleverly,Chairman of the Conservative party, said — Johnson is leading the “most desi government” in British history.

Agra-born Alok Sharma, 52, has been appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Rishi Sunak, 39, son-in-law of Infosys co-founder and former chairman Narayana Murthy, will head the finance department. Priti Patel remains theHome Secretary, serving her second term in the UK government, Hindustan Times reported.

Sharma has also been shouldered with the responsibility of facilitating climate change deals. He will formulate UK’s climate change strategy for which Johnson has already drawn criticism from his Scottish counterpart. Earlier, he held the position of Secretary of State for International Development. Sharma was brought up in south-east England. He is a trained accountant and former banker who had played numerous junior ministerial roles before entering mainstream politics in 2010, the HT report added.

Rishi Sunak was first elected to the House of Commons in 2015. He ascended to power within a span of five years.He has held one of the senior-most positions as Finance Secretary.

Sunak comes from a business and finance background and was Chief Secretary in the Treasury. He has taken the role equivalent to the finance minister in India.

Priti Patel, 47, another Indian-origin Cabinet minister, continues to be the Home Secretary, which is another top role in the UK government.

Suella Braverman (nee Fernandes), a Goan by roots, is the fourth person of Indian origin to hold a top post in the Johnson government. Suella Braverman was appointed Attorney General and will attend Cabinet meetings, as per the HT report.

Published on February 14, 2020

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