British-Pakistani MP Sajid Javid has been appointed the new Culture Secretary following the resignation of the disgraced Maria Miller.
Mr Javid, 44, is seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party and was previously the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and an integral part of Chancellor George Osborne’s inner circle.
Mr Javid succeeds Mrs Miller who was forced to resign from the Cabinet on Wednesday following widespread criticism of her reaction to a parliamentary inquiry into expenses fiddling.
While she was cleared of misusing her expenses account she was criticized by the Parliamentary Standards Committee for her “tokenism” in responding to censure by the Committee.
With his appointment, Mr Javid becomes the most senior British Asian Cabinet Minister and the second British Pakistani member of the Cabinet after Baroness Warsi, the Minister of State for Faith and Communities.
Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, Mr Javid is one of five boys born to a bus driver originally from Lahore.
While he has said he and his brothers were “brought up to believe in God” he himself does not practise any religion and he is married to a practicing Christian.
After growing up in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in northern England, Mr Javid attended Exeter University before entering the world of finance, working for Chase Manhattan Bank in New York and Deutsche Bank in Singapore.
In 2009 he gave up high finance for politics, winning the Bromsgrove Tory seat in February 2010 with more than 70% of the vote.
He quickly made an impact with senior Tories who have often touted Javid as a future Prime Minister.
Whilst his economic credentials are impeccable – he was the Minister in charge of the City of London until today – with his new appointment Mr Javid will have an opportunity to widen his support base with his new role in the culture, media and sport ministries, particularly given his standing within the British Asian community.
Speaking to Muslim News in 2012 about multiculturalism, Mr Javid said: “I am proud of my Pakistani and Muslim heritage but, as I have myself said repeatedly, people who settle here should respect the British way of life, culture and traditions, and be required to learn our language.
“For too long we have championed an ideology of multiculturalism which has created divides rather than broken them down.”