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Badenoch joins cabinet as Truss appoints highest Africans in UK history

By Ngozi Egenuka 
08 September 2022   |   1:55 am
For the first time in the history of the United Kingdom (UK) parliament, new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, in her first full days in office, has appointed more ministers and the most diverse cabinet ever to exist.

Nigeria-born Kemi Badenoch contested the seat of UK Prime Minister and lost out on Tuesday.

Tinubu congratulates new PM

For the first time in the history of the United Kingdom (UK) parliament, new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, in her first full days in office, has appointed more ministers and the most diverse cabinet ever to exist.

As of the time this report was filed, the PM had appointed 49 ministers. 30 of them top ministers and 19 are junior ministers.  None of the four most senior jobs would be held by a white man: Kwasi Kwarteng is the Chancellor, Suella Braverman was appointed Home Secretary and James Cleverly is Foreign Secretary.
 
British-Nigerian Kemi Badenoch has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade.

The appointment was disclosed via a tweet on the verified Twitter handle of the UK Prime Minister, @10DowningStreet. “Kemi Badenoch MP @KemiBadenoch has been appointed Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade @TradeGovUK,” the tweet read.

Badenoch, who also took to her verified Twitter handle, expressed her delight over the appointment. She tweeted: “Delighted to start my new job at @tradegovuk! Looking forward to unleashing Global Britain’s full potential so we can create more jobs, more growth and more opportunity across the UK.”

Other top ministers include; Wendy Morton as chief whip, making her the first woman to hold the role in a Conservative government; Ben Wallace retains his position as defence secretary; Brandon Lewis was appointed Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary; Alok Sharma remains COP26 President, while Jacob Rees-Mogg has been appointed as business secretary.

MEANWHILE, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has congratulated Truss on her emergence as the Prime Minister.

Tinubu, in a statement issued on Wednesday by his media office, said the emergence of Truss “is at once a personal achievement, but also an affirmation of British democratic tradition, particularly the peaceful and orderly transfer of power.

“The historic links and shared ideals that describe the relationship between our two nations will continue to provide a platform for cooperation and partnership.

“We hope that her tenure in office shall witness further annealing of the bilateral relationship as our two nations work together on matters of global importance and mutual concern.

“May the excellent relations between Nigeria and the United Kingdom continue to flourish, as mainstay of the foreign policies of our two democracies,” the APC presidential candidate stated.

The PM, in her speech, vowed to increase energy supply with more North Sea gas and nuclear energy stations. Her government is set to announce a package of support with energy bills tomorrow and her cabinet discussed this during its first meeting.

Truss has promised to unveil a package of measures tomorrow to address soaring inflation and spiralling energy bills.

Meanwhile, the UK’s currency has hit its lowest value against the U.S. dollar since 1985. Yesterday, £1 was worth $1.1406. The fall in the value of the pound has been an ongoing trend, while the dollar has been strengthening recently.

During her first Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Truss and Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, clashed over how to fund energy bills support.

He asked the new prime minister if she was going to make working people “foot the bill for decades to come” in order to freeze energy prices, despite the “excessive” profits of oil and gas firms.

He then pressed her on her plans to grow the economy, saying there was nothing new about “the Tory fantasy of trickle-down economics.” Truss fired back, saying there’s nothing new “about a Labour leader calling for more tax rises”. She noted that her speech in the Commons today would give people “certainty” over the help from the government.

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