British Prime Minister, Liz Truss Makes History With Non-White Top Appointments

For the first time ever, one of the nation’s four most crucial ministerial positions will not be filled by a white man in the incoming British Prime Minister Liz Truss’ cabinet.

Truss appointed James Cleverly as Britain’s first Black foreign minister and Kwasi Kwarteng as the country’s first Black finance minister. Kwarteng’s parents immigrated to Britain from Ghana in the 1960s.

Cleverly, whose father is white and whose mother is from Sierra Leone, has previously talked about being bullied as a mixed-race child. She has also stated that the party needs to do more to win over Black voters.

Suella Braverman, whose parents immigrated to Britain from Kenya and Mauritius 60 years ago, follows Priti Patel in the position of second ethnic minority home secretary, or interior minister, where she will be in charge of immigration and law enforcement.

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The Conservative Party’s recent push to nominate a more diverse slate of candidates for parliament has contributed to the increased diversity.

Up until a few decades ago, white men dominated British government.

Paul Boateng’s appointment as chief secretary to the Treasury marked the first ethnic minority cabinet minister in Britain’s history, which didn’t happen until 2002.

Rishi Sunak, whose parents came from India, was Kwarteng’s predecessor in the finance job and the runner-up to Truss in the leadership context.

Sunder Katwala, director of non-partisan think-tank British Future, which focuses on migration and identity said, “Politics has set the pace. We now treat it as normal, this diversity. The pace of change is extraordinary.”

However, the upper ranks of business, the judiciary, the civil service and army are all still predominately white.

Despite the party’s diversity campaign, only a quarter of Conservative members of parliament are women and 6% from minority backgrounds.

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