Kwasi Kwarten, prime minister responsible for Britain’s dire economic situation, was born in London after his parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1960s. New Foreign Secretary James Cleverley’s mother is in the UK from Sierra Leone, and incoming Home Secretary Suela Braverman has Kenyan and Mauritian parents.
No other G7 nation can claim to have such diversity at the heart of its government. This reflects the rapid rise of minority politicians to the top of his table in British politics over the past decade.
But experts say this fact may mask other inequalities that pervade the UK’s political system.
Critics fear the continuation of a series of divisive Conservative government policies towards refugees, asylum seekers and disadvantaged communities, and have cast the country’s Some have pointed out the rank and educational background of the new Cabinet.
Sundar Katwara, director of the British Future Think Tank, which focuses on issues of immigration, integration and national identity, said of the composition of Truss’ new cabinet, “It’s very important and it’s changing at an alarming rate. I am doing,” he said.
But “these are more diverse political elites,” he told CNN. It’s not progress.”
Tim Bale, professor of political science at Queen Mary University and author of a book on politics, said: Conservative Party.
“But it hides the fact that working-class people are disappearing from politics, which is having ripple effects in terms of policy and voter turnout.”
In 2002, the UK had its first black minister. A decade ago, none of the brightest national offices were held by non-white politicians.
The diversity of the Truss first team therefore reflects a major shift in British politics.
“Until the turn of the century, we haven’t had a black or Asian cabinet minister,” Katwara told CNN. “And it’s only recently, but it’s already established itself as the new norm.”
Braverman is the third consecutive interior minister from an ethnic minority, and Kwarteng is the fourth prime minister.
Much of this change is due to David Cameron, who served as Conservative Prime Minister from 2010 to 2016. Cameron prioritized the modernization of the Tories, which had built a reputation for being untouched by a multicultural nation. Cameron insisted that the party include women and ethnic minorities in its candidate list when choosing local candidates.
“Cameron made a definite impact,” Katwara said. “He decided to make it happen. It was his political project to show that his Conservative Party wanted to be part of modern Britain.”
But while the Conservative Party has diversified dramatically in its 12 years in power, voters have not.
Experts and commentators say it’s because the diversity of the Conservative leadership masks other inequalities and is not seen as a realignment of the party’s political priorities.
“There is a lot going on in[the government’s]diverse cabinet. That test shows how many members of Britain’s vulnerable and diverse black, Muslim and female minority groups have their views heard. Actor Adil Lay, the TV host behind the BBC sitcom “Citizen Khan,” about the life of an Anglo-Pakistani family in Birmingham, wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
The new cabinet also carries on the mantle from the previous administration, which was frequently criticized by anti-racism campaigners for its approach to racial inequality and immigration.
The government claimed the program was intended to disrupt human smuggling networks and discourage migrants from making the dangerous voyage across the Channel from France to Britain. has launched a legal challenge and so far the flight has been cancelled.
Early signs suggest that these conflicts will continue rather than subside within the Truss administration. But observers say that if the government were to soften its approach to immigration, it would win support from the public.
“With attitudes towards immigration in general softening, there is an opportunity for the government to do something different,” Katwara said.
Nevertheless, even the most ethnically diverse cabinets in British history have strikingly similar educational and class backgrounds.
More than two-thirds of the new cabinet attended private fee-charging schools such as Bravermann, Cleverley and Quarteng, but only 7% of the UK population as a whole. “If you look at the Conservative Party brand, it’s still seen as the party of the rich, for better or worse.
All four past Conservative prime ministers attended Oxford University. Of his last five rectors, only Sajid Javid did not study at his two most elite universities in Britain, Oxford or Cambridge.
“Politics has become a college-educated profession, and some of the skills required for politicians tend to be relevant to those who have been to college,” Bale said.
He warned that it risks discouraging generations from participating in elections.
“What we have seen over the last few decades is the almost complete disappearance of working-class representatives in Congress. , you don’t really see the visible.”
CNN’s Christian Edwards contributed to the report.