LONDON: Indian-origin Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak was appointed UK’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer as incumbent Sajid Javid quit over differences with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday following Brexit.
Sunak, 39, who is married to Akshata, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, was Chief Secretary to the Treasury since July 2019.
His appointment comes merely four weeks before the Budget is due to be presented, the BBC reported.
Those out in the reshuffle are Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Housing Minister Esther McVey and Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers while Attorney General Geoffrey Cox has been asked to resign, it said.
However, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab retain their posts, while International Development Secretary Alok Sharma has been appointed Business Secretary and Minister for the upcoming climate conference COP26, in Glasgow.
An analyst with Goldman Sachs before joining politics in 2014, Sunak, whose grandparents were from Punjab and emigrated to the UK from east Africa, is MP from Richmond (Yorkshire). He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the Theresa May government.
Pakistani-descent Javid, who became the first Asian to become a Cabinet Minister when he was made Secretary of State of culture, Media and Sports in the David Cameron government in 2014 after stints as Economic Secretary to the Treasury (2012-13) and Financial Secretary (2013-14), was earlier the Home Secretary in the the Theresa May government.
He had then cleared absconding businessman Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India in February last year following the decision by the Westminister Magistrates Court in December 2018.
Javid, who ran for Conservative Party leadership after May quit but lost to Boris Johnson, was made Chancellor by the later. In the reshuffle on Thursday, he was offered to retain the post if he fired all his advisors but declined, the BBC reported.
“The Prime Minister said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with Number 10 special advisers to make it one team.
“The Chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms,” it quoted a source close to Javid as saying. IANS