Nadhim Zahawi becomes new education minister in UK cabinet reshuffle
In a major cabinet reshuffle, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the education secretary, replacing Gavin Williamson who was the first minister to indicate an exit after he tweeted that it had been his privilege to serve in his role since 2019 when Johnson first took charge.
Zahawi was until now the vaccines minister in the UK government.
Besides Zahawi’s appointment, one of the major changes in the rejig came with the appointment of Dominic Raab as the justice secretary and also the Deputy Prime Minister. Elizabeth Truss has replaced Raab, thus becoming only the second woman to hold the position in Great Britain’s history.
Indian-origin Rishi Sunak has retained his position as the country’s finance secretary, Downing Street announced on Tuesday.
Raab has been severely criticised in the past for his handling of the recent withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.
According to reports, Raab was advised to make an important phone call to his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar regarding the evacuation of local translators who helped British officials, before the advancement of the Taliban. However, Raab reportedly never made the call, thereby drawing criticisms and demands of his resignation from the opposition parties.
Williamson, meanwhile, has had his share of criticisms over his management of university admissions, examinations and school closures during the Covid-19 crisis.
The rejig is a part of Johnson’s attempt to “build back better” from the pandemic, especially now that the UK has officially exited the European Union (EU).
(With inputs from agencies)