Pakistani-origin MP Sajid Javid was today appointed Britain's new Home Secretary to replace Amber Rudd who resigned after admitting that she had "inadvertently misled" Parliament over the existence of deportation targets for immigrants.
Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver whose family migrated to Britain in the 1960s, was promoted from his Cabinet post of Communities, Local Government and Housing minister. The 48-year-old former investment banker is the Conservative party MP for Bromsgrove and has previously held business and culture portfolios in the UK government.
"The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of ...Sajid Javid MP as secretary of state for the home department," a Downing Street statement said.
Javid becomes the first South Asian origin MP to hold the key portfolio in the UK Cabinet.
His appointment is widely seen as a way for British Prime Minister Theresa May to curtail the backlash from the so-called Windrush scandal, which brought to light the unfair treatment of Commonwealth citizens from Jamaica over a lack of citizenship documentation.
"I was really concerned when I first started hearing and reading about some of the issues. It immediately impacted me. I'm a second-generation migrant. My parents came to this country... Just like the Windrush generation," Javid wrote in 'The Sunday Telegraph'.
"When I heard about the Windrush issue I thought, ‘That could be my mum… it could be my dad… it could be my uncle… it could be me," he added.
James Brokenshire, the former Northern Ireland secretary who stood down in January due to health reasons to have a tumour removed from his lung, has been moved into Javid's old job as Housing, Communities and Local Government secretary.
UK international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, takes on the additional role of minister for equalities.
The resignation of Rudd, a key ally of Theresa May, followed weeks of pressure ever since her statement to the Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee denying knowledge of any targets to remove illegal migrants from the UK.
Leaked memos and letters in the media seemed to contradict her claims, resulting in her decision to step down.
Rudd said she took "full responsibility" for the fact that she was not aware of "information provided to (her) office which makes mention of targets".
In response, May said she believed Rudd had given her evidence to the House of Commons "in good faith" but that she understood her decision to resign and take "responsibility for inadvertently misleading the home affairs select committee".
Rudd became the fourth person forced to resign from the UK Cabinet in the last six months – following former defence minister Sir Michael Fallon, former international development minister Priti Patel and May's deputy Damian Green.
The latest resignation comes just days before local council elections in Britain, due to be held on May 3, during which the Opposition parties will hope to capitalise on some of the upheaval in government.