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World News

Diverse Cabinet 'positive' news but Christians should be mindful of policies says head of CTE

by Donna Birrell

The General Secretary of Churches Together in England is welcoming the news that some of the biggest jobs in Liz Truss’ new Cabinet have gone to non-white people for the first time.

Suella Braverman has become the home secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng is chancellor and James Cleverly is Foreign Secretary. 

Bishop Mike Royal has been speaking to Premier about the significance of the appointments: “It’s very positive, because what it shows is that black and brown people and being involved in senior positions in government, is representative of a diverse society that we now live in.

"In one sense they are role models, because what they say to those communities is ‘yes, we can achieve’. There’s a sense of meritocracy that they have risen. They are all educated people at the top of their political careers and are now serving in the public space. So from that point of view, it's really positive.

“However, I think that Labour are falling behind, in my opinion, on the issue of diversity in senior levels in their party. I think we're all a little bit tired of the same names being wheeled out.

"Actually, there needs to be progress, as it does with the Lib Dems, but also we need to look at things from a politics point of view.

"That’s where the issues come in. Because the chancellor will need to address the cost of living crisis, the energy crisis that's linked to the cost of living crisis and of course, the Foreign Secretary will need to deal with the issue of immigration and those two things have been a hot potato in terms of direction of travel.

Bishop Mike hopes the new Home Secretary Suella Braverman will herald a new direction on policy and he’s critical of her predecessor Priti Patel’s stance on immigration: “There’s been lots of talk of, we're going to get tough, we're going to send people abroad, we've spent millions of pounds on it.

"But actually, we have a policy that has neither been robust, nor has it been fair. I’m not hopeful in terms of the rhetoric that I've heard from Suella Braverman, so while it is great to see diversity at the top of politics, I am deeply concerned. I would say as Christians, we should be deeply concerned about the direction of travel in terms of policies.

“I’m very positive about James Cleverly in the role of Foreign Secretary, it’s a very positive move. The role is the public face of the UK, so it'll be interesting to see how he manages it.

"But once again, we just need to be careful about the kind of politics. In terms of Ukraine, I  just think it's important that the tone changes towards conciliation rather than just ramping up in terms of the arming of one side, or the other. So that would be my concern.

“But overall it's great to see this kind of representation in the highest levels of government.”

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