The United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday appointed Brexit supporter Priti Patel home secretary, Reuters reported. Some of the other ministers of South Asian descent in the Johnson Cabinet are Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid, International Development Secretary Alok Sharma and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak.
Patel, who was born to Indian parents, had resigned as the international development minister in 2017 for holding undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials.
She was believed to have met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, other senior political figures, businessmen and lobbyists while on a holiday with her family in August 2017, and failed to properly disclose everything about the meetings to Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May. In 2016, Patel had campaigned to leave the European Union, Reuters reported. She has also been an outspoken critic of Theresa May’s approach to Brexit.
During the European Union referendum campaign, Patel launched an appeal to “Save the British Curry”, arguing that the immigration system for those living outside bloc would be fairer after Brexit. She also said it would ease a shortage of chefs for Indian restaurants in Britain.
In 2015, former British Prime Minister David Cameron had asserted that Patel would become the United Kingdom’s first Indian-origin prime minister. He made the remark during a rally at Wembley stadium to mark the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Infosys founder’s son-in-law inducted
Rishi Sunak is the son-in-law of Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy. The 39-year-old has been the MP for Richmond, Yorkshire, since 2015, according to the Hindustan Times.
Alok Sharma was born in Agra and has been the MP for Reading West since 2010. He was the employment minister in Theresa May’s government and a supporter of Johnson in the recent election. He will now be responsible for overseas British aid. He has held various junior ministerial roles and had campaigned to remain in the referendum.
Sajid Javid was born in the UK to parents who had immigrated from Pakistan, according to The Guardian. He is Britain’s first ethnic minority finance minister. He will be responsible for managing the economy when it leaves the European Union, and protecting London’s place in the financial world.