Priti Patel gets Cabinet rank in Cameron's Conservative team

Priti Patel gets Cabinet rank in Cameron's Conservative team

Prime Minister David Cameron today promoted one of Britain's most prominent Indian-origin MPs Priti Patel by making her the new Employment Minister, as he continued to give finishing touches to his first all- Conservative Cabinet.

Patel, who was re-elected from Witham in Essex with a big majority in the May 7 general election, will take charge as the new Employment Minister of Britain.

The 43-year-old replaces another female MP in the Cabinet, Esther McVey, who lost her seat at the polls.

"A real privilege to be appointed as Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions," Patel said in a Twitter message.

While the London-born mother of one will not be in charge of the Department for Work and Pensions, she has been given a Cabinet rank as a promotion from her previous role as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

It remains to be seen if she will also carry on in her honorary role as the British Prime Minister's Indian Diaspora Champion.

Her appointment reflects Cameron's plans to shake up the party's old fashioned all-male image and have a significant number of women around the Cabinet table.

Amber Rudd has been appointed Energy and Climate Change Secretary and Baroness Stowell is promoted to the Cabinet as the Leader of the House of Lords.

Cameron had already confirmed Nicky Morgan in her previous post as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities.

Other key announcements today included Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid moving from Culture Secretary to Secretary of State for Business and London Mayor Boris Johnson being made a minister without a portfolio.

Johnson, widely seen as a Conservative party leadership contender, will attend Political Cabinet until he completes his term as mayor in 2016 when he is expected to be given an official portfolio.

Cameron said: "Boris Johnson will be attending my Political Cabinet. As promised, he will devote his attention to his final year as Mayor of London."

Iain Duncan Smith, often referred to by his initials IDS, will be Patel's boss as the Work and Pensions Secretary and veteran Tory MP John Whittingdale is to become Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Some of the senior ministerial posts were confirmed soon after the election results were finalised on Friday.

Chancellor George Osborne, Home Secretary Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon were re-confirmed in their respective posts.

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