Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma, Priti Patel:First Cabinet Meeting

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Hours after United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed three Indian origin leaders – Priti Patel, Alok Sharma, and Rishi Sunak – in key portfolios, they attended their first Cabinet meeting on Thursday morning at 10, Downing Street.

The 47-year-old Priti Patel will now be in charge of the UK’s security, immigration, and visa policies. She has vowed to fight the “scourge of crime” and will be in the hot seat to fulfill some of her past promises of an upright post-Brexit visa regime for everyone globally, free of the freedom of movement criterions imposed by the European Union (EU).

“The pressures being put on our services by immigration from the EU has meant that tough limits have been put in place on immigration from outside the EU,” she said during her time as one of the prominent leaders of the Vote Leave campaign in the lead up to the June 2016 referendum in favour of Brexit.

Explaining further, she said that “this means that our relatives struggle to get visas to come to the UK for family celebrations, restaurants cannot employ skilled chefs from abroad, our temples cannot bring in priests, and we cannot bring people in for business, cultural or sporting events – as well as the thousands of talented professionals like doctors, teachers, and engineers,” she said.

Rishi Sunak, in his first Cabinet meeting, declared that the new UK government was “toughening up”. He had also issued similar open letters in favor of fairer visa norms for everyone in the world.

The 39-year-old Conservative Party MP during the Brexit referendum said: “From working in my mum’s tiny chemist shop to my experience building large businesses, I have seen how we should support free enterprise and innovation to ensure Britain has a stronger future.”

He strongly believes that small businesses in the UK would flourish as a result of Brexit as the “vast majority of British businesses (94 percent) don’t have anything to do with the EU, but they are still subject to all EU law”.

An Indian origin Alok Sharma, the Conservative Party MP, backed Boris Johnson in the Conservative Party leadership rivalry as the leader best placed to launch a “coherent unambiguous plan to deliver Brexit and take us out of the European Union”.

The 51-year-old was serving as employment minister and now has been promoted to a full-fledged Cabinet post in the Department for International Development (DfID), where he will be in charge of the UK’s aid budget and partnerships.

“We will work across the whole of government to deliver Brexit and make sure UK aid is tackling global challenges that affect us all, such as climate change, disease, and humanitarian disasters,” said Sharma, about his new job.

“I am committed to transforming the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, giving them access to quality education and jobs, while promoting Britain’s economic, security and foreign interests,” he added.

Boris Johnson’s Cabinet now has more ethnic minority key ministers than any previous UK ministerial team. The Cabinet also includes Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid in the top job of Chancellor.

“It proves that in modern Britain you can reach the highest office regardless of your background or origins. It also signals the different approach which Boris Johnson is expected to take towards immigration – welcoming the best and brightest talent to the UK – based on the needs of the economy rather than setting arbitrary targets,” said Indian origin peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia.