UK Politics

Sajid Javid named culture secretary after Miller exit

New culture secretary Sajid Javid Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Javid is the first MP elected in 2010 to be promoted to the Cabinet

Sajid Javid has succeeded Maria Miller as culture secretary, becoming the first Asian male Conservative cabinet minister.

Mr Javid, who became an MP in 2010, said he was "immensely privileged" to be given the role.

A self-made millionaire and devotee of Margaret Thatcher, he is regarded as one of the Conservatives' fastest-rising stars.

The former City banker was appointed a Treasury minister last year.

In his new post, Mr Javid will be responsible for policy on broadcasting, sport, media, tourism, telecoms, equalities and the arts.

Mr Javid, the MP for Bromsgrove, is the first of the 2010 parliamentary intake of MPs to achieve to be promoted to the cabinet.

He told BBC Hereford and Worcester that he was "thrilled and surprised" to be promoted, although it was "not in the best of circumstances to get a new job like this" given his predecessor's resignation.

"I didn't expect to have this kind of opportunity to serve the country at this level so soon, but I take it as a huge privilege," he said.

His appointment has been praised by Conservative MPs - George Freeman describing him as "a new model Conservative for our times who's done great work at Treasury".

But Labour said it had reduced the number of women in the cabinet to three.

'Give something back'

Mr Javid's father, Abdul, a bus driver, came to the UK from Pakistan in 1961, reportedly with just £1 in his pocket. He settled in Rochdale, where Mr Javid, born in 1969, and his four brothers were born.

He attended state schools and won a place at Exeter University, studying economics and politics.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mr Javid (far left) is a close ally of Chancellor George Osborne

Mr Javid, who has four children of his own, tells of how his father was a Labour supporter until the "winter of discontent" of 1978-9, later becoming a supporter of Mrs Thatcher.

Similarly inspired by what he saw as a turnaround in the country's fortunes under the Conservatives, Mr Javid joined the party in 1988.

After entering the City, he became, at 24, the youngest vice-president of the Chase Manhattan Bank,

He says he was later "headhunted" by Deutsche Bank in London to help build its business in developing countries and that he left in 2009 to "give something back through politics".

His chance came when Bromsgrove MP Julie Kirkbride - rather like Mrs Miller - stood down amid controversy over her own expenses and he was selected as Tory candidate. He won with an 11,308 majority.

Within six months he was a parliamentary assistant to skills minister John Hayes, moving in October 2012 to doing the same job for Chancellor George Osborne.

'Out of sight'

Mr Osborne was impressed with what he saw and Mr Javid became economic secretary to the Treasury in September 2012. In October last year he was promoted to financial secretary to the Treasury.

As part of the mini-reshuffle caused by Maria Miller' resignation, Mr Javid's job has been taken by Conservative MP Nicky Morgan - who is already a junior Treasury minister.

Mrs Morgan has also taken on the role of minister for women previously held by Mrs Miller. She will not be a full cabinet member but will attend meetings when necessary.

Labour's Gloria de Piero said that meant there would no longer be "a full member of the cabinet speaking for women".

"There are now just three women running government departments out of a possible 22, demonstrating that when it comes to women, it's out of sight, out of mind for this out-of-touch government," she said.

Tory chairman Grant Shapps said there were plenty of talented female Tory ministers but defended Mr Javid's promotion ahead of them.

"He [David Cameron] looked for the best person available for that role and he has found him," he told the BBC.

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