UK Cabinet reshuffle exemplifies UK India living bridge

By Kealan Finnegan

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s much anticipated cabinet reshuffle created quite the shock when it was announced that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, had resigned and would be replaced by Rishi Sunak. Another notable feature was the high proportion of the new cabinet of Indian heritage; in addition to Mr Sunak, Priti Patel and Alok Sharma are from families of Indian linkages.

These appointments might suggest that India is becoming an even more valuable partner to the UK. What is for sure is that these appointments are evidence of the living bridge between the UK and India.

Some of the key cabinet ministers as of February 13th are:

Rishi Sunak has been promoted to Chancellor of the Exchequer, one of the four key positions in Government alongside the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. Mr Sunak will now preside over Her Majesty’s Treasury and is responsible for all economic and financial matters.

He is of Punjab heritage; his grandparents were born in Punjab before emigrating to the UK via East Africa. He is also the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.

Priti Patel retained her position as Home Secretary, which she has filled since July 2019. The Home Sec’s paternal grandparents are from Gujarat.

The Home Secretary is responsible for the internal affairs of England and Wales, issues of national security, and for immigration and citizenship for the United Kingdom. Mrs Patel has previously served as Secretary of State for International Development.

Alok Sharma, previously serving as the Secretary of State for International Development, has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, responsible for business, industrial strategy, and science and innovation with energy and climate change policy. Mr Sharma was born in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and moved to the UK as a child.

In another significant move, Mr Sharma was appointed as president of COP26, the UN climate change conference being held in Glasgow in November. This places him in the middle of international negotiations to bring about real change, which recent COPs have been widely criticised as failing to deliver on.

Also attending Cabinet meetings, will be Suella Braverman who was made Attorney General. Her father is of Goan-origin before settling in the UK where Mrs Bravermen was raised. After practising as a barrister from 2005-2015, she was elected to the House of Commons as an MP in 2015.

     

Elsewhere, the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, both retained their positions as heads of the Foreign Office and DIT respectively.

     

Anne-Marie Trevelyan was appointed Secretary of State for International Development. While, Oliver Dowden CBE was appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The UK remains committed to working with India for the benefit of both countries. UKIBC looks forward to continuing our work with UK Government for the betterment of the UK-India bilateral relationship.

The list of cabinet ministers in full:

  • Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP remains Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and First Secretary of State
  • Rt Hon Michael Gove MP remains Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Minister for the Cabinet Office
  • Rt Hon Priti Patel MP remains Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer
  • Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP remains Lord Chancellor, and Secretary of State for Justice
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He will also be Minister for COP26
  • Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP remains Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP as Secretary of State for International Development
  • Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP remains Secretary of State for International Trade, President of the Board of Trade, and Minister for Women and Equalities
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Rt Hon Baroness Evans of Bowes Park remains Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords
  • Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP remains Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Suella Braverman MP as Attorney General. She will attend Cabinet
  • Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP remains Secretary of State for Education
  • Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP remains Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of George Eustice MP as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP remains Secretary of State for Transport
  • Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP remains Secretary of State for Defence
  • Rt Hon Alister Jack MP remains Secretary of State for Scotland
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Rt Hon Simon Hart MP remains Secretary of State for Wales
  • The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Stephen Barclay as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He will attend Cabinet
  • Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP remains Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons. He will attend Cabinet
  • Rt Hon Mark Spencer MP remains Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Chief Whip). He will attend Cabinet
  • The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Amanda Milling MP as Minister without Portfolio, and a member of the Cabinet

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