British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on September 15 undertook a reshuffle of his top team, retaining two of his senior Indian-origin ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel in the UK Cabinet. While Sunak will continue next door to PM Johnson at Downing Street as his Chancellor of the Exchequer and Patel, who was at the centre of speculation of being removed, retains in her office as Home Secretary.
Sunak, the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, has been in his post since February 2020 and has led the UK's financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Patel, whose parents are of Gujarati-Ugandan descent, has been the Home Secretary since July 2019. Sunak was first elected to UK Parliament in 2015 and has previously served as Chief Secretary to the Treasure.
Also, among the senior minister being shuffled around include Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who accepted a demotion to take charge as the new Justice Secretary, alongside his other roles of Lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister. Raab, who was in troubled waters over his handling of the aftermath of the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the evacuation efforts from Kabul, had been at the Centre of speculation about his future as the head of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), one of the top-most-Cabinet posts in the British government. He was replaced by Liz Truss, promoted from her role of International Trade Secretary. Earlier this week, she concluded the latest round of trade talks with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
Earlier, Downing Street stated PM Johnson would be reshuffling his top team to 'put in place a strong and united team to build back better from the pandemic." The restructuring was announced after the weekly Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) session in the House of Commons, with news of the sackings coming in first followed by fresh appointments of shuffled ministers. Lower Ministerial offices will be finalised on September 16.