• Sunday, July 21, 2024


Fewer non-white members in Sunak’s cabinet now

His team had five people of colour before Braverman was sacked as home secretary

British prime minister Rishi Sunak (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

THE number of non-white cabinet ministers has come down from five to four after prime minister Rishi Sunak reshuffled his core team on Monday (13).

Suella Braverman was sacked as home secretary and former prime minister David Camaron was made foreign secretary as part of the exercise.

While Sunak – the first British Asian prime minister – remains the most prominent person of colour in the government, his colleague Claire Coutinho who is the secretary of state for energy and net zero, is of Indian heritage.

James Cleverly who has replaced Braverman as home secretary, and business & trade secretary Kemi Badenoch are the two other non-white members of the prime minister’s cabinet.

In addition, Saqib Bhatti, the British Pakistani MP for Meriden has been made a junior minister – parliamentary under secretary of state in the department for science, innovation and technology. The founder of the pro-Brexit group Muslims for Britain became the Conservative Party’s vice chair for business last year.

The dismissal of Braverman has also resulted in the number of female cabinet ministers dropping from eight to seven.

Braverman, a Goan-origin politician, repeatedly courted controversy, most recently by accusing the Met Police of playing favourites when tackling Israel-Gaza protests in an article in The Times.

Her exit was expected after it emerged that her controversial newspaper article had been published without clearance from 10 Downing Street.

Sunak had been under pressure from sections of his Conservative Party as well as faced attacks from the opposition for allowing her to continue in her job after her breach of the ministerial code.

Braverman said in a statement on Monday: “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to serve as Home Secretary. I will have more to say in due course.”

Full list of the cabinet ministers: Rishi Sunak (prime minister), Oliver Dowden (deputy prime minister and secretary of state for cabinet office), Jeremy Hunt (chancellor of the exchequer), James Cleverly (home secretary), David Cameron (foreign secretary), Grant Shapps (defence), Alex Chalk (justice), Claire Coutinho (energy security and net zero), Michelle Donelan (science, innovation and technology), Michael Gove (levelling up, housing & communities, and intergovernmental relations), Victoria Atkins (health and social care), Penny Mordaunt (lord president of the council and leader of the House of Commons), Lord True (leader of the House of Lords and lord privy seal), Kemi Badenoch (business and trade secretary), Steve Barclay (environment, food and rural affairs), Mel Stride (work and pensions), Gillian Keegan (education), Mark Harper (transport), Lucy Frazer (culture, media and sport), Richard Holden (minister without portfolio), Chris Heaton-Harris (secretary of state for Northern Ireland), Alister Jack (secretary of state for Scotland), David T C Davies (minister for state for Wales), Simon Hart (chief whip), John Glen (chief secretary to the Treasury), Victoria Prentis (attorney general), Jeremy Quin (paymaster general and minister for the cabinet office), Robert Jenrick (minister of state – immigration), Tom Tugendhat (minister of state – security), Andrew Mitchell, (foreign, Commonwealth and development office) and Johnny Mercer (minister for veterans’ affairs).

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