London/ New Delhi:
Indian-origin British MP Rishi Sunak, who on Thursday replaced Sajid Javid as UK’s Finance Minister, tweeted last night that he is “honoured” to be appointed as Chancellor Of the Exchequer in the Boris Johnson cabinet. Mr Sunak, 39, is married to the daughter of Infosys co-founder and billionaire Narayana Murthy, Akshata.
A former Goldman Sachs banker, Mr Sunak has been appointed as the second most powerful minister in the British government as Prime Minister Johnson reshuffled his cabinet and Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid unexpectedly resigned.
Mr Sunak was previously Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid’s deputy. In his tweet, he praised Mr Javid, adding that it was a pleasure to work with him. “I am honoured to be appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer. My predecessor and good friend Saj did a fantastic job in his time at the Treasury. He was a pleasure to work with and I hope to be able to build on his great work going forward,” he wrote.
I am honoured to be appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
My predecessor and good friend Saj did a fantastic job in his time at the Treasury. He was a pleasure to work with and I hope to be able to build on his great work going forward.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) February 13, 2020
Mr Javid’s resignation followed reports that he had clashed with Johnson’s powerful adviser, Dominic Cummings, a self-styled political disruptor who is mistrusted by many lawmakers and officials.
Mr Sunak, believed to be a close ally of British PM, is set to move into No. 11 Downing Street, next door to his office as he takes charge of the new role.
David Jones, a former Brexit minister, described UK’s new Finance Minister as “very bright” and an “excellent choice”. The pound and bond yields rose on the expectation that Mr Sunak’s appointment would pave the way for a more expansionary budget next month.
After the fresh rejig, British cabinet has three Indian-Origin MPs. Alok Sharma, the former secretary of state for international development, was on Thursday elevated to the role of the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy. Sharma, 51, will also be president of the COP26, the big-ticket climate summit of the United Nations, which is due to be held in Glasgow in November this year.
Last year, Boris Johnson had appointed Priti Patel as the new Home Secretary. She held an international development secretary portfolio in the former Prime Minister Theresa May government.