Britain‘s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss has appointed business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng as the new finance minister, her office said in a statement on September 6, 2022. The 47-year-old is the first black finance minister of Britain.
Who is Kwasi Kwarteng?
Kwasi Kwarteng was born in the London Borough
of Waltham Forest on May 26, 1975. He is the only child of Alfred K. Kwarteng
and Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng. His mother is a barrister and his father is an
economist in the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Kwarteng attended Colet Court, an independent
preparatory school in London. He attended Eton College and was awarded the
prestigious Newcastle Scholarship prize. He studied classics and history at
Trinity College, Cambridge. Kwasi attended Harvard University on a Kennedy
Scholarship and then earned a PhD in Economic History from the University of
Cambridge in 2000.
Kwarteng worked as a columnist for The Daily
Telegraph and as a financial analyst at JPMorgan Chase. He wrote a book, Ghosts
of Empire, about the British Empire’s legacy which was published in 2011.
Kwarteng was the Conservative candidate in the
constituency of Brent East at the 2005 general election. He was also the
chairman of the Bow Group in 2005 and 2006. He was selected as the Conservative
candidate for Spelthorne at an open primary in January 2010 after the incumbent
Conservative MP, David Wilshire.
From 2010 to 2013 he was a member of the Transport Select Committee. In 2013, he joined the Work and Pensions Select Committee where he was a member until 2015.
He was re-elected at the 2015 general election
with an increased majority. Kwarteng backed the United Kingdom’s withdrawal
from the EU in the 2016 referendum. Kwarteng was appointed as the Parliamentary
Private Secretary to Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, following the
2017 general elections.
Kwarteng supported Boris Johnson in the 2016
and 2019 Conservative Party leadership elections. On July 25, 2019, he was
appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy along with Jo Johnson.
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On January 8, 2021, he
replaced Ashok Sharma as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial
Strategy. He became the second black man to serve in the Cabinet. He also
became the first black man to run a government department by being appointed to
the level of Secretary of State.