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The U.K. now has its most diverse Cabinet in history thanks to new PM Liz Truss : NPR


Chancellor Liz Truss and her new Cabinet members at 10 Down St. on 7 September for their first Cabinet meeting. Top row, from left: Truss; Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Suella Braverman, home secretary. Bottom row, from left: James Cleverly, secretary of state; Ben Wallace, secretary of defense; Thérèse Coffey, deputy prime minister, health minister.

Bloomberg via Getty Images; Beautiful pictures; Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; PA image via Getty Images; AP;


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Bloomberg via Getty Images; Beautiful pictures; Anadolu Agency via Getty Images; PA image via Getty Images; AP;

LONDON – Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss took office on Tuesday afternoon and has spent much of the time since focusing on appointing new members of her government, and in particular her Cabinet. .

She has very unequivocally selected several close political allies for senior roles and dismissed members of her Conservative Party who have openly supported her main rival in the leadership race. party, former finance minister Rishi Sunak.

Notably, for the first time in British history, not one of the four ministerial positions – prime minister, finance minister, foreign secretary and foreign secretary – was held by a white man. .

British Prime Minister Liz Truss holds the first Cabinet meeting after taking office at Downing St. on September 7 in London.

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Frank Augstein / Getty Images


British Prime Minister Liz Truss holds the first Cabinet meeting after taking office at Downing St. on September 7 in London.

Frank Augstein / Getty Images

But in a sign of Britain’s continuing class divide, much of the new Cabinet has been educated in fee-paying private schools – even more so than Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson.

Here is a list of Truss’ top picks for senior positions, at one of Britain’s most diverse Cabinets ever.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Exchequer

Kwarteng, 47, assumes the role of finance minister (superior to Britain’s treasury) for the world’s sixth-largest economy, at a time of enormous challenge for the country’s coffers. He is the son of Ghanaian parents who immigrated to England, and grew up in London before attending elite boarding school, Eton College, and then Cambridge University. During his time as a student, he appeared on a popular British quiz show called University Challenge, where he used a curse word twice when he couldn’t remember the answer – even though the team his then won the contest that year. Kwarteng then attended Harvard University before completing his Ph. in economic history at Cambridge, and has written several books and worked as a banking analyst in the City of London. He was first elected to Parliament in 2010, when the Conservatives were in power, and has previously worked at the Treasury in a more junior role and recently ran the Department for Business, Energy and Strategy. Industry of Great Britain.

Suella Braverman, house secretary

Braverman, 42, is a trial lawyer by training and most recently served as Britain’s attorney general before being given this new role by Truss, which places her in charge of forty-sixty British police forces. country, as well as domestic security agencies and international espionage. colloquially MI5 and MI6. Her parents, of Indian descent, moved to the UK in the 1960s, her father from Kenya and her mother from Mauritius. She grew up in north-west London, attended Cambridge University and went on to study law at the Sorbonne in Paris before passing her bar exams in New York. She is a notoriously hardliner on Brexit, and at the end of 2018 as a minister in the UK’s EU Department of Exit she was very unhappy with the terms of the Brexit deal. a version of the country’s Brexit deal that was then Prime Minister Theresa. May has suggested, that she would eventually resign from her role in the government. She also ran in the most recent Conservative Party leadership run to replace Johnson, before dropping out to support Truss, the eventual winner.

James Cleverly, Secretary of State

Cleverly, 53, is the child of a father from the West of England and a mother from Sierra Leone, but grew up in South East London and just east of the capital. He attended a private school, met his wife as a student, and after a short stint in the British army, served in the British Army’s reserve for many years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Following his publishing career, he gained attention in Conservative Party circles after writing a study that looked at methods the Conservatives could take to win more black voters. During Johnson’s time as mayor of London, Cleverly worked under Johnson in a role overseeing the city’s fire departments. For several months he also chaired the Conservative Party during Johnson’s Chancellorship, but over the past year has worked more directly for Truss at the country’s foreign ministry, where he has held a number of junior roles in the past three years. He briefly ran the UK’s Department of Education after dozens of ministers resigned earlier this summer, prompting Johnson to announce his resignation. Cleverly has been a public critic of not only Truss’ leadership rival Sunak, but also the Chinese government, and has called for the closure of dozens of British Confucius Institutes that promote Chinese culture and learning. .

Ben Wallace, Secretary of Defense

A quiet former soldier, Wallace, 52, has earned praise from across the party for his insightful attention during the past six months of the conflict in Ukraine, where its troops and weapons He played an important and supportive role for Kyiv. Wallace was asked by many colleagues to consider running for Conservative Party leader after Johnson announced he will step down in July but says he is not interested in being prime minister and then maintains a studied neutrality throughout the election campaign. He was one of only four ministers to hold his role during the transition from the Johnson to Truss administration. As a lawmaker since 2010, he has repeatedly expressed support for the concept of small government, a view shared with his new boss. He is fond of sports, especially skiing, worked as an instructor in Austria shortly after graduating from high school and worked in the aerospace industry before becoming a politician.

Therese Coffey, deputy prime minister, health minister

A close friend of Truss since before they first entered parliament in 2010, Coffey, 50, has held a number of senior posts under successive prime ministers but will now represent Truss as well. as taking on the challenging task of running Britain’s despised National Health Service. The service faced a large backlog of operations and slow ambulance emergency response times. She studied chemistry at the same Oxford college as former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but was forced to leave the university when she failed several exams. She completed her studies at University College, London, where she eventually earned her Ph. in the subject. Previously, she oversaw the country’s Ministry of Work and Pensions and served as minister of environment and government whips, and before entering politics she worked for candy giant Mars as well as radio station. BBC.



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