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Liz Truss’ government is the first in Britain without a white man in senior positions

Liz Truss' government is the first in Britain without a white man in senior positions

The Conservatives have elected 3 female Prime Ministers in Britain so far, Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May and now Liz Truss.


Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has chosen a government in which, for the first time, no white man will hold one of the country’s four most important ministerial positions.

Truss appointed Kwasi Kwarting—whose parents came from Ghana in the 1960s—as Britain’s first black chancellor, while James Cleverly was the first black foreign minister.

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Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone and father is white, has spoken in the past about being bullied as a mixed-race child, and said the party needed to do more to attract black voters.

Suila Braverman, whose parents came to Britain from Kenya and Mauritius six decades ago, succeeded Priti Patel as the second Ethnic Minority Home Secretary, or Home Secretary, where she would be responsible for policing and immigration.

The increased diversity is partly due to pressure by the Conservative Party in recent years to field a more diverse pool of candidates for Parliament.

Until a few decades ago, British governments were mostly made up of white men. It took until 2002 for Britain to appoint its first ethnic minority government minister when Paul Boateng was appointed Principal Secretary to the Treasury.

Rishi Sunak, whose parents came from India, was Kwarteng’s predecessor in the financial position and second place to Truss in the driving course.

“Politics has set the pace. We are now treating it as normal, that diversity,” said Sunder Katwala, director of the British British Future Foundation, which focuses on immigration and identity. “The pace of change is extraordinary.”

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However, the upper ranks of the business, judiciary, civil service, and military are still predominantly white.

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And despite the party’s diverse campaign, only a quarter of Conservative MPs are women and 6% are from minorities.


Nevertheless, the Conservatives have the best track record of political priorities among the major political parties, including the appointment of Benjamin Disraeli’s first Jewish prime minister in 1868.

This is despite the fact that ethnic minority voters are more likely to support the opposition Labor Party and the ruling party faces accusations of racism, misogyny and Islamophobia.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized in 2019 for describing Muslim women who wear the burqa as looking like mailboxes.

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The Conservatives elected all three British Prime Ministers, Margaret Thatcher, Theresa May and now Truss. The first legislator of Asian origin, Mansherjee Bhunagre, in 1895, also came from the Conservatives.

Johnson formed the smallest and most racially diverse cabinet in history when he was elected prime minister in 2019. Among his three finance ministers were two men of South Asian descent and one of Kurdish descent.

The changes came after years of efforts by former leader and Prime Minister David Cameron.

When he took power in 2005, the party had just two ethnic minority members in Parliament out of 196, and he set out to ensure his party was closer to the modern Britain he hoped to lead.

The following year, Cameron presented a priority list of women and minority candidates to be selected, many of them for safe seats in the House of Commons. Truss was one of the beneficiaries of this payment.

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“One of the key parts of ensuring the strength and resiliency of any group, including a political party, is to avoid everyone thinking and behaving the same — avoiding groupthink,” said James Arbuthnot, a member of the party’s board of directors. Committee nominees when Cameron introduced the changes.

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But Kwarteng downplayed his race. He said that although he was subjected to racial insults in the 1980s, he does not see himself as a symbol for anyone other than his constituents in Spellthorne, which borders the southwest suburbs of London.

“I really think it’s not that big of a deal,” he said after being appointed as the first black Conservative front minister. “I think once you make that point clear, I don’t think it’s something that comes as much.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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