Who is Claire Coutinho, the newest Indian-origin minister in Rishi Sunak’s government? | world News

In her first Cabinet post, Claire Coutinho replaces Grant Shapps after he was promoted to Defense Secretary following the resignation of Ben Wallace.

Claire Coutinho has received a major promotion as the new Energy Security and Net Zero MinisterClaire Coutinho has received a major promotion as the new Energy Security and Net Zero Minister. (Facebook/Claire Coutinho)

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Claire Coutinho, a close aide to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, received a major promotion as the new energy security and net zero minister in a mini-cabinet reshuffle on Thursday.

Coutinho, 38, becomes the second minister of Goan descent after Home Affairs Minister Suella Braverman in Sunak’s government, and has a difficult task ahead of her as energy costs rise in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. I have committed to working to protect energy security and lower bills for families experiencing a cost-of-living crisis.

In her first Cabinet post, Coutinho replaced Grant Shapps after being promoted to Defense Secretary following the resignation of Ben Wallace.

“I am delighted to be appointed Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Emissions. I will work with the Prime Minister to protect our energy security, reduce household bills and build cheaper and cleaner domestic energy.

Like Sunak, the UK-born Coutinho grew up in a family linked to the National Health Service (NHS) and was involved in investment banking before entering politics. The Brexiteer with a master’s degree in mathematics and philosophy from Oxford University was elected MP for East Surrey, south-east England, in 2019 with a promise to serve the people.

“I was elected Member of Parliament for East Surrey in 2019. Growing up, I watched my parents work as GPs in the NHS, listening to people’s problems and solving them as best they could. It is in this spirit that I hope to serve the people of East Surrey.” The London-born politician’s mission statement as a Conservative MP.

And the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Sunak’s decision to include her in the cabinet – as the youngest member in fact – immediately makes her a key figure in Conservative politics, now and in the future. She says she began her career at Merrill Lynch, before leaving the company in London to work on social justice policy.

“I have focused on a wide range of issues from education to financial inclusion, to revamping disadvantaged communities including the Center for Social Justice. I then spent two years within government as a Special Adviser, including to Her Majesty’s Treasury. “My domestic priorities include Fix our roads, support the local economy, and protect our environment.”

After serving as a special adviser at the UK Treasury, Coutinho became Sunak’s assistant in his role as Chancellor of the Exchequer and later Chancellor of the Exchequer.

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I supported the British Indian candidate for prime minister in his bid for the leadership last year, and was later rewarded with a junior ministerial post in the Ministry of Education.

“Many thanks to my distinguished team who have supported me as Minister for Children, Family and Welfare. I know my successor, David Johnston, will work to improve the lives of children and families across the country.

“From the biggest expansion of childcare in history, to the new freedom of expression law, to pushing forward reforms in SEND, for carers, children’s social care and childminders. It has been an honor to work with so many talented people,” she said.

First published on: 01-09-2023 at 07:36 IST

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