Liz Truss’s Cabinet is the U.K.’s First Without a White Man in the Top Offices
Liz Truss, who won a bitter battle to succeed Boris Johnson as British prime minister, is presiding over a historic moment: For the first time, no White man holds one of Britain’s four top seats of political power.
Shortly after becoming prime minister on Tuesday, Truss got down to business and appointed her senior leadership team for the roles known as the “The Great Offices of State.”
She named Kwasi Kwarteng as chancellor of the exchequer, or finance chief, a role that will be pivotal as the country grapples with a cost-of-living crisis. On Tuesday evening, he tweeted that it was “the honour of a lifetime” to be appointed and promised to announce a “package of urgent support to help with energy bills.”
Kwarteng, whose parents migrated to Britain from Ghana, is the first Black Briton to hold the role. A decade ago, he wrote a book examining the British Empire’s rule in the former colonies of Iraq, Kashmir, Myanmar, Sudan, Nigeria and Hong Kong.
Truss’s new foreign secretary is James Cleverly, a mixed-race army reservist whose mother hails from Sierra Leone and whose father is from Wiltshire, about 90 miles outside London. He has spoken publicly about being bullied as a mixed-race child and has given talks at Conservative Party conferences about how the party can win the support of Black voters.
Cleverly will serve as Britain’s top diplomat at a time of rocky relations between it and the 27-nation E.U. bloc.
The new home secretary is Suella Braverman, whose parents came to Britain in the 1960s from Kenya and Mauritius.
The three names had been leaked in recent days and didn’t come as a surprise, in part because each person was a staunch Truss ally during her winning leadership campaign.