UK Prime Minister Theresa May has named former Communities Secretary Sajid Javid as interior minister. The appointment comes after the previous home secretary stepped down amid an immigration scandal.
Britain's former communities secretary, Sajid Javid, was named as new UK interior minister on Monday.
His appointment comes amid what's become known as the Windrush scandal. Previous Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned after several long-term Caribbean residents with British citizenship had been wrongly labeled as illegal immigrants and in some cases threatened with deportation or refused medical care.
Who is the new appointee?
Sajid Javid, 48, is a former managing director at Deutsche Bank, working for the German giant in Singapore. He was previously housing, communities and local government secretary. In his earlier career, under former Prime Minister David Cameron, he assisted with budgetary matters at the Treasury and is considered a small government, pro-business conservative.
Javid, whose parents immigrated to the UK from Pakistan, became one of the first prominent Conservatives to speak out critically on the "Windrush scandal," telling the Sunday Telegraph newspaper: "That could be me." He acknowledges his Muslim heritage, but says he is non-practicing.
He is the first minority politician to hold the office, considered one of the toughest in British politics.
Javid is known for his outright manner and after his appointment was praised on Twitter by fellow Conservative Liz Truss, chief secretary to the Treasury, as "effective, no-nonsense and brave."
Change in Cabinet balance: Javid was long an outspoken critic of the EU and particularly the euro, which he described as a "bankruptcy machine." However, shortly before the June 2016 Brexit referendum, he came out in opposition to leaving the bloc. He has since taken the government's line of "making a success" of Brexit, but he is liable to be a less passionate voice in support of the bloc than Rudd was within a Cabinet intentionally split along European lines.
Change in backbench balance: Rudd's relegation to the backbenches could conceivably bolster the ranks of the pro-Europe rebels in the governing party. A small but significant chunk of Tories have been refusing to back May's government on key votes, with the prime minister already lacking a majority in the House of Commons. The most outspoken pro-EU rebel, Anna Soubry, on Sunday praised Rudd's "great courage" when lamenting her departure.
tj/msh (Reuters, AP)