Indian-origin Priti Patel will oversee Brexit, according to the Cabinet formed by newly re-elected British Prime Minister Theresa May. Patel — one of the 12 Indian-origin politicians to be elected in the just-held British prime ministerial elections and the senior-most minister in the Cabinet — will be responsible for Brexit because she remains the Secretary of State for International Development.
Besides Patel, the other Indian-origin politicians to be elected in the British polls are Alok Sharma, Sailesh Vara, Suella Fernandes and Rishi Sunak from the Conservatives, and Veerender Sharma, Lisa Nandy, Seema Malhotra, Tanmanjeet Singh, Preet Gill, Keith Vaz and Valerie Vaz.
Of these, Tanmanjeet Singh is all slated to be the first turban-wearing Sikh to become a part of the British Parliament. While this is a far cry from neighbouring Ireland, which has already elected Indian-origin openly-gay Leo Varadkar as prime minister, it is still a good development for Indians in Britain.
Patel's retention as Secretary of State for International Development is important because it shows May is trying to her fullest to put her best face forward following her party's surprisingly dismal performance in the just-concluded elections. The Conservatives failed to gain simple majority, and have staked claim to government formation with the support of a smaller party.
Speaking about her choices for the Cabinet, May said: "I have brought in talent from across the whole of the Conservative party. We want a country that works for everyone." Interestingly, May has chosen Damian Green — a close and important ally — as her first secretary of state. Essentially, he is the unnamed deputy prime minister.
On the other hand, Michael Gove has made a political comeback of sorts after May appointed him environment secretary. Gove had launched an unsuccessful bid for the leadership of the Conservative party last year, and had subsequently been relegated to the back benches of Parliament after Theresa May won.
According to a PTI report: "Greg Clark holds on to his job as secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy and David Gauke takes over as work and pensions minister. Liam Fox stays in his post as Secretary of State for international trade, while Justine Greening has been re- confirmed as Secretary of State for Education."