Liz Truss’ cabinet is first in Britain without white men in top jobs

The new British Premier Liz Truss has chosen a cabinet in which for the first time a white man will not occupy any of the nation's four most important ministerial positions.


Truss named Kwasi Kwarteng, whose parents came from Ghana in the 1960s, as Britain’s Black finance minister, and James Cleverly as Black foreign minister.

Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone and whose father is white, has in the past spoken of being bullied as a mixed-race child and stated that the party needs to do more to attract Black voters.

Suella Braverman, whose parents arrived in the United Kingdom from Kenya and Mauritius six decades ago, succeeds Priti Patel as the second minister of the Interior, where she will be in charge of police and immigration.

The growing diversity is in part due to pressure by the Conservative Party in recent years to put forward a more diverse set of candidates for parliament.

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Until some decades ago, British governments were mostly composed of white men. It was not until 2002 that Britain appointed its ethnic minister when Paul Boateng was appointed chief secretary of the Treasury.

Rishi Sunak, whose parents hailed from India, was Kwarteng’s predecessor in the financial position and Truss’s second in the leadership context.

The political tone was set. We are now treating this diversity as normal,” said Sunder Katwala, director of the non-partisan think tank British Future, which emphasizes migration and identity. “The pace of change is incredible.”

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

Despite the party’s diversity campaign, only a quarter of Conservative MPs are women and 6 percent are of minority backgrounds.

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