Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid appointed appointed as UK’s new Interior Minister
LONDON: Pakistani-origin MP Sajid Javid was on Monday appointed U.K.’s new Home Secretary to replace Amber Rudd who resigned after admitting that she had “inadvertently misled” Parliament over the existence of deportation targets for immigrants.
Mr. Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver whose family migrated to Britain in the 1960s, was promoted from his Cabinet post of Communities, Local Government and Housing minister. The 48-year-old former investment banker is the Conservative party MP for Bromsgrove and has previously held business and culture portfolios in the U.K. government.
“The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of …Sajid Javid MP as secretary of state for the home department,” a Downing Street statement said.
Mr. Javid becomes the first South Asian-origin MP to hold the key portfolio in the Cabinet.
His appointment is widely seen as a way for British Prime Minister Theresa May to curtail the backlash from the so-called Windrush scandal, which brought to light the unfair treatment of Commonwealth citizens from Jamaica over a lack of citizenship documentation.
“I was really concerned when I first started hearing and reading about some of the issues. It immediately impacted me. I’m a second-generation migrant. My parents came to this country… just like the Windrush generation,” Mr. Javid wrote in The Sunday Telegraph.
“When I heard about the Windrush issue I thought, ‘That could be my mum it could be my dad it could be my uncle it could be me,” he added.
James Brokenshire to take care of Housing portfolio
James Brokenshire, the former Northern Ireland secretary who stood down in January due to health reasons to have a tumour removed from his lung, has been moved into Mr. Javid’s old job as Housing, Communities and Local Government secretary.
Penny Mordaunt, U.K. International Development secretary, will be taking on the additional role of Minister for equalities.
The resignation of Ms. Rudd, a key ally of Ms. May, followed weeks of pressure ever since her statement to the Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee denying knowledge of any targets to remove illegal migrants from the U.K.
Ms. Rudd became the fourth person forced to resign from the Cabinet in the last six months — following former defence minister Sir Michael Fallon, former international development minister Priti Patel and Ms. May’s deputy Damian Green.
The latest resignation comes just days before local council elections in Britain, due to be held on May 3, during which the Opposition parties will hope to capitalise on some of the upheaval in government.