LONDON, JULY 25: Britain’s new Prime Minister Boris Johnson has at least 3 Indian-origin faces in key Cabinet posts. Apart from Priti Patel, who is the country’s first Indian-origin Home Secretary, the Cabinet features Johnson’s fellow Brexiteer Rishi Sunak, and Alok Sharma.
Rishi Sunak, who has been appointed as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was elected as the Member of Parliament from Richmond (Yorks) in 2015. He is the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy and writer Sudha Murthy.
A businessman, Sunak studied in Oxford and Stanford Universities. He grew up in the area where his father was a general practitioner in the National Health Service and his mother ran a chemist’s shop.
Alok Sharma, who served as the Housing Minister in 2017 and Minister of State for Employment form 2018, has been appointed as the Secretary of State for International Development. Prior to his election to the Parliament in 2010 from Reading West, Sharma worked in the banking sector for 16 years.
Boris’ Indian connection
PM Johnson, who has in the past described himself as a son-in-law of India by virtue of his now estranged wife Marina Wheeler’s Indian mother Dip Kaur, has stressed that the UK’s relationship with India must run deeper than just trade.
In reference to India-UK relations, Johnson is on the record saying he wants to pursue a new trade deal and is expected to build on his self-confessed “personal relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to deliver a “truly special” bilateral relationship.
“The sooner we leave the EU and take back control of our trade policy, the sooner we can strike a new trade deal with India that will deliver new jobs, growth and prosperity for both our countries. Securing this new and improved trading relationship with our friends in India will be a priority for me,” he said, during the course of a month-long leadership contest.
(The Hindu with inputs from PTI)