The UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has become the country’s third woman to hold the top job in government (Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May got there before her) following her formal appointment yesterday by Queen Elizabeth II. Her appointment came after a leadership election in the governing Conservative Party in which Truss beat finance minister Rishi Sunak for the top job after a six week long internal party election. She has now appointed her new Cabinet and it is perhaps a sign of changing times that none of the three of the ‘great offices of state’ have been awarded to a white male.
Suella Braverman QC, a woman of Indian ancestry whose parents emigrated to the UK from Kenya and Mauritius in the 1960s has been appointed Home Secretary (interior minister). Braverman, a trained lawyer, had been Attorney General (2020-220).
Kwasi Kwarteng has been appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister). Of Ghanaian heritage, Kwarteng won a scholarship to Eton, the UK’s top private school, at the age of 13 and went on to study history at Cambridge University, eventually earning a PhD in British history.
James Cleverly has been made Foreign Secretary (minister of foreign affairs). Cleverly is the son of a midwife from Sierra Leone. He was privately educated and also served in the British Territorial Army (army reserve), rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel.