Two Indian-Origin MPs Get Ministerial Positions After UK Cabinet Reshuffle

Rishi Sunak, who happens to be Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s son-in-law, and Suella Fernandes, a Goan-origin hard Brexit campaigner, were appointed to the Cabinet by UK PM Theresa May.


Two Indian-origin Members of Parliament gained ministerial positions in the Conservative government following the latest Cabinet reshuffle in the United Kingdom. Rishi Sunak, the Conservative Member of Parliament for the Northern English constituency of Richmond (Yorkshire), and Suella Fernandes, a Goan-origin MP for the southern constituency of Fareham became the new ministers in the UK government.

Apart from the two, Indian-origin MP Alok Sharma — who was already the Minister for Housing — became the Minister for Employment.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May pushed out many white male politicians to include more women and ethnic minorities after the sexual harassment scandal plagued the Cabinet over the last few months. As a ripple effect of the Harvey Weinstein case in Hollywood, multiple male politicians were accused by staff and others of inappropriate behavior.

Rishi Sunak

Sunak, who was given the position of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, first became an MP in 2015. Prior to entering politics, Sunak co-founded an investment firm.

He also happens to be Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy’s son-in-law. Sunak was educated at Winchester College and Lincoln College, Oxford, and pursued MBA at Stanford University. He has two daughters with Akshata Murthy.

Sunak’s father was a doctor and his mother ran a local pharmacy. He was inspired to join politics because of the change his parents made in the community in Yorkshire.

Suella Fernandes

Fernandes, another pro-Brexit campaigner, will become a minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union, taking the number of Brexit ministers from three to four. She became an MP for the first time in 2015 and was re-elected in 2017 at a snap election.

Educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge and Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Fernandes was a barrister before joining politics. She received 56.1 per cent of the votes at Fareham in 2015.

In 2017, she was the Parliamentary Private Secretary to HM Treasury Ministers and became the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at Department for Exiting the European Union in January 2018.

May Faces Criticism for Reshuffle

May, who was criticized for the previous Cabinet, is once again under fire about her decision to include fewer white males to make way for women and members of ethnic minorities. However, she responded by saying that the Cabinet now “looks more like the country it serves.” May declared in a statement: “This Government is about building a country fit for the future — one that truly works for everyone with a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

She said: “This reshuffle helps us do just that by bringing fresh talent into Government, boosting delivery in key policy areas like housing, health and social care, and ensuring the Government looks more like the country it serves. It also allows a new generation of gifted ministers to step up and make life better for people across the whole UK.”

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