Rishi Sunak appointed UK finance minister; 2 other Indian-origin MPs named in UK cabinet


Rishi Sunak, the son-in-nlaw of Infosys co-founder Ramarao Narayana Murthy, on Thursday replaced Pakistani Chancellor Sajid Javid as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) of the United Kingdom, while Alok Sharma was appointed Business Secretary in the British Cabinet.

With this, there are now three MPs of Indian-origin in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

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According to media reports, the decision comes just a few weeks before the Javid who was only eight months old in his job was set to unveil the UK budget on March 11, setting out the government’s tax and spending plans.

Sunak, the 39-year-old Treasury chief Secretary is a close ally of Johnson.

Meanwhile, Alok Sharma, the former secretary of state for international development has been elevated to the role of the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy.

Sharma, 51, will also be president of the COP26, the big-ticket climate summit of the United Nations, which is due to be held in Glasgow in November this year.

Sharma, 51, was appointed the prime minister’s infrastructure envoy to India in the year 2016.

Shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reshuffled the British Cabinet, three Parliamentarians of Indian-origin, including new Home Secretary Priti Patel today secured cabinet seats for themselves in the Parliament.

Johnson had last July, had appointed Patel as the new Home Secretary. Following the development, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had further extended congratulatory notes to his “good friend” Priti Patel on the occasion.

Born to Gujarati parents who fled to Uganda in the 1960s, Patel is a controversial figure who has advocated bringing back of death penalty and had previously asked foreign aid target to be scrapped.

She held an international development secretary portfolio in the former Prime Minister Theresa May government but she was forced to resign for a highly ill-advised freelance trip to Israel.

(With ANI inputs)

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