UK PM Forms Cabinet, Appoints Nigerian

Within hours of taking the oath of office, Liz Truss , the prime minister of the United Kingdom, announced members of her cabinet with their portfolios. Among them is Kemi Badenoch, a first generation immigrant born to Nigerian parents. Badenoch was one of the contestants for the office of Prime Minister, and she made the last four in the race. 42-year-old Badenoch, a software engineer and banker, is secretary of state for International Trade and president of the board of trade. She is not the only person of colour or representative of ethnic minorities in Truss’ cabinet. There is also Kwasi Kwasikwarteng, a Ghanian who becomes the Chancellor of Exchequer.

Aside from people of colour as cabinet members holding prominent portfolios, Ms Truss has four other of her fellow competitors on the cabinet. They are Penny Mordaunt who becomes Lord president of the Council, and leader of the House of Commons. Nadhim Zahawi retains the portfolio of Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister for intergovernmental relations and Equalities. The third person is Suella Braverman who is secretary of state for the Home department. And the last is Tom Tugendhat, former chairman of foreign affairs committee in the parliament, who is now secretary of state for security.

While the new Prime Minister appears accommodating of the camp of Boris Johnson, her predecessor who she did not denounce even in his troubled period, she appears to have shown a cold shoulder to her closest rival, Rishi Sunak. From the camp of the former Truss found two people worthy of her cabinet positions. They are Michael Ellis who is attorney general, and Robert Buckland who retains his portfolio as secretary for Wales. In the case of Buckland he had switched over to Truss before the end of the voting. She retains cabinet members who either supported Johnson or did not deny him during the confidence vote. Among them is Tom Wallace who retains the portfolio of secretary of state for Defence. Another is Braverman who was attorney general in the last government.

The British media, however, faults her on gender balancing, arguing that she gave women 35% as against their 51% population strength. There is also the observation that white men are not represented in the top positions in the cabinet.

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