Key roles likely for Indian-origin MPs in Boris Johnson government

Updated on Jul 25, 2019 01:05 AM IST
Johnson received a mixed press a day after he was elected leader of the Conservative party, with several newspapers highlighting his unpredictable, gaffe-prone record in politics so far.
Boris Johnson, leader of the Britain's Conservative Party, leaves a private reception in central London, Britain July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville(REUTERS PHOTO)
Boris Johnson, leader of the Britain's Conservative Party, leaves a private reception in central London, Britain July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville(REUTERS PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, London | By

Keen to put together a team that reflects ‘modern, multicultural Britain’, Boris Johnson, who will take over as prime minister later on Wednesday, is likely to appoint Indian-origin MPs such as Priti Patel, Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak to key roles.

Johnson received a mixed press a day after he was elected leader of the Conservative party, with several newspapers highlighting his unpredictable, gaffe-prone record in politics so far. The Guardian’s editorial is titled ‘The years of a clown’.

Patel, who was sacked by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017 from the cabinet role of international development secretary after she held unauthorised meetings with Israeli leaders during a holiday, is one of Johnson’s foremost supporters.

According to The Times, she is likely to return to the cabinet and given the key role of Home secretary, while junior minister Alok Sharma is reportedly being considered for a promotion to the cabinet role of Business secretary.

Also read | As PM, Boris Johnson hopes to build on personal ties with Narendra Modi

Johnson’s likely inclusion of Indian and Pakistan-origin MPs (such as current home secretary Sajid Javid) in his team is partly to ward off accusations of racism reflected in his past comments on Islam.

Also in line for a promotion is said to be junior minister Rishi Sunak, who is son-in-law of Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy. He is considered a ‘rising star’ in the Conservative party, having first entered the House of Commons in 2015 and then in the 2017 election.

Speaking to ITV on Wednesday morning, Patel highlighted the need for inclusivity, and for an agenda stretching beyond Brexit, but was notably more critical of May’s government: “The important job now has to be getting on and doing the job of Brexit.”

“I think, actually, the country is just fed up now, sick and tired of this malaise that we have, this sort of indecision that has gripped the heart of Westminster There’s a different style and a different approach. We’ve had regressiveness for the last three years, where there’s been no decisions, we’ve been speaking and talking our country down.”

According to her, Johnson has a “forensic” in his approach, which could sort out Brexit despite the tight timetable: the UK is due to leave the European Union by October 31. Johnson has controversially promised to leave the EU by the date with or without an agreement.

Also read | 5 things you may not know about Boris Johnson, UK’s next PM

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prasun Sonwalkar was Editor (UK & Europe), Hindustan Times. During more than three decades, he held senior positions on the Desk, besides reporting from India’s north-east and other states, including a decade covering politics from New Delhi. He has been reporting from UK and Europe since 1999.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    'Colour of skin' may be why Tigray crisis not getting attention, says WHO chief

    The World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has suggested that racism is behind a lack of international attention being paid to the plight of civilians in Ethiopia's war-shattered Tigray region. Calling it the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world", with 6 million people unable to access basic services, Tedros questioned in an emotional appeal why the situation is not getting the same attention as the Ukraine conflict.

  • A patient shows his hand with a sore caused by an infection of the monkeypox virus in the isolation area for monkeypox patients at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital, in Lima. 

    Monkeypox cases jumped 20% last week to 35,000 across 92 countries: WHO

    More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 92 countries and territories, with almost 7,500 cases being registered last week - a 20 per cent increase, said World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday. Ghebreyesus said there has been a total of 12 monkeypox-related deaths across the world so far.

  • A view of the exposed riverbed of Yangtze river on a hot day in Chongqing, China, on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

    Climate crisis: China hit by worst heat wave in decades

    A scorching heat wave, the worst in six decades, sweeping China has dried up rivers and reservoirs, threatened crop yields and forced industries to shut down and ration electricity. One of the regions hit badly by the heat wave is China's southwestern Sichuan province, which has shut down factories for six days to ease a crippling power shortage.

  • With Sunak showing little sign of making inroads, Truss is the hot favorite to become the party’s and the country’s next leader.

    Rishi Sunak losing UK prime minister race, trails Liz Truss by 32 points

    Liz Truss led Rishi Sunak by 32 points in the latest survey of UK Tory members by the ConservativeHome website, suggesting she remains on track to win the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister. Some 60% of the 961 Tory members polled by the influential website said they favored Truss to become the Conservative Party's new leader, while just 28% backed Sunak, ConservativeHome said on Wednesday.

  • Afghanistan, where Taliban are ruling now, however, is yet to meet the expectations of both China as well as Pakistan on many counts.

    China wants military outposts in Pakistan to safeguard its investments

    Having made significant investments in the conflict-prone Pakistan-Afghanistan region as part of its hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to protect its interests in the two countries by stationing its own forces in specially created outposts, according to top diplomatic sources. Pakistan, where according to some estimates the Chinese investments have risen above USD 60 billion, is largely dependent on China not only for financial but also military and diplomatic support.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now