Andrew MacAskill and Humza Jilani
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has chosen a cabinet in which, for the first time, whites will not serve as the country’s four the most important ministerial positions.
Truss appoints Kwasi Kwarteng – whose parents were from Ghana in the 1960 years – as Britain’s first black finance minister, with James Cleverly being the first black foreign minister.
Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone and whose father is white, has spoken in the past about being bullied as a biracial person and said the party needs to do more to appeal to black voters.
Suella Braverman’s parents came to the UK six years ago from Kenya and Mauritius to succeed Priti Patel as the second minority home secretary or home secretary, who will be in charge of police and immigration.
The growing diversity is partly due to the Conservative Party’s push in recent years to present a more diverse range of parliamentary candidates.
The British government was, until a few decades ago, predominantly white. The UK did not appoint its first minority cabinet minister until 2002 Paul Boateng was appointed chief secretary to the Treasury.
Rishi Sunak, whose parents came from India, is Kwarteng’s ex in finance and a runner-up in Truss in leadership.
“Politics has set the pace. We now see it as normal, this diversity,” said Sunder Katwala, director of the nonpartisan think tank Future of Britain, which focuses on immigration and identity. “The rate of change is extraordinary.”
However, the upper echelons of business, the judiciary, civil servants and the military are still dominated by whites.
and despite the party’s diversity campaign, only a quarter of Conservative MPs are women and 6% are from minority backgrounds.
Nonetheless, the Conservatives have the best political record of any major party, including in 1868.
While minority voters are more likely to back the opposition Labour Party, the ruling party faces accusations of racism, misogyny and Islamophobia.
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised in 2019 for describing Muslim women wearing burqas as looking like letter boxes.
The Conservatives have elected Britain’s three female prime ministers, Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May and now Truss. 1895 Mancherjee Bhownaggree, the first Asian-American MP, is also from the Conservative Party.
Johnson assembled the youngest and most diverse cabinet in history when he 2019 elected Prime Minister. His three finance ministers include two South Asian men and one of Kurdish background.
These changes come after years of hard work by former leader and Prime Minister David Cameron.
When he took office 1868, only two minority MPs from the party left 1868, he set out to ensure his party was closer to the modern Britain it wanted to lead.
The following year, Cameron launched a priority list of women and minority candidates, many for safe seats in the House of Commons. Truss is the beneficiary of this push.
“A key part of ensuring the strength and resilience of any group, including political parties, is to avoid everyone thinking and acting the same way — avoiding groupthink,” said Cameron introducing At the time of these changes, James Arbusnot was a member of the Party Committee’s Candidates Committee.
But Kwarteng downplayed the importance of his race. He has said that despite experiencing racist insults growing up in the 80s, he doesn’t see himself as a symbol for anyone other than voters in Spelthorne, which borders the south-west London suburbs .
“I actually don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said after being named the first black Conservative frontbench minister. “I think once you bring this up, I don’t think it’s going to come up that much.”