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British PM Theresa May promotes Indian-origin minister Shailesh Vara

The promotion of Shailesh Vara, a Conservative MP from North-West Cambridgeshire, means there are now two ministers of state in the May govt of Indian origin. The other lawmaker is Alok Sharma, MP from Reading West.

world Updated: Jul 29, 2018 15:20 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Theresa May,Shailesh Vara,Indian-origin minister
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media in Salzburg, Austria on July 27.(REUTERS)

Shailesh Vara, who held the junior ministerial post of parliamentary undersecretary of state in the Northern Ireland Office, has been promoted by Prime Minister Theresa May to the rank of a minister of state in the same department.

Vara said: “I am of course very pleased with the promotion. The work in Northern Ireland is hugely important, especially as we leave the European Union, ensuring that there is no hard border with Ireland.”

The promotion of Vara, a Conservative MP from North-West Cambridgeshire, means there are now two ministers of state in the May government of Indian origin. Alok Sharma, MP from Reading West, is minister of state for employment in the department of work and pensions.

Two other Indian-origin MPs holding junior ministerial posts are Rishi Sunak (MP from Richmond, Yorkshire), who is parliamentary undersecretary of state in the department of housing, communities and local government; and Suella Braverman.

Braverman is the parliamentary undersecretary of state in the department for exiting the European Union.

Called ‘parliamentary under-secretary of state’, junior ministers are the third and lowest tier in the hierarchy in Britain.

The only Indian-origin MP to hold a cabinet position so far is Conservative Priti Patel, whose tenure as the secretary of international development lasted less than six months – July to November 2017 – when she was dropped due to her ministerial overreach during a holiday.

First Published: Jul 29, 2018 15:20 IST