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UK gets another immigrant as Finance Minister

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UK gets another immigrant as Finance Minister
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On July 6 the United Kingdom appointed a new Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister). Nadhim Zahawi, 55, is the new Chancellor.

Nadhim Zahawi is a groundbreaker in many ways. Mr Zahawi is the first Muslim to be appointed to this office. His predecessor Rishi Sunak was a Hindu. Zahawi is also the first ethnic Iraqi to be elected to the House of Commons.

Zahawi was born into a Kurdish family in Baghdad. He immigrated to the United Kingdom as a child. His family were soon naturalized as Britons. He grew up in a middle-class London suburb called Wimbledon. After university, he went into marketing. He is a self-made multi-millionaire like most Conservative Members of Parliament. He owns property worth over GBP 25 million.

In the 1980s Zahawi joined the Conservative Party. There were very few non-whites in the party. Non-whites often felt unwelcome.

As an outspoken opponent of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, Zahawi was a supporter of the liberation of Iraq in 2003. He is a Sunni Muslim but not known to be very observant. Despite being an immigrant, he is accused of being insufficiently sympathetic to newer immigrants.

In 2010 Zahawi was elected MP for Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare's birthplace. He was later made Secretary of State for Education in the UK Government.

Mr Zahawi is married and the couple has three children.

Johnson appointed Zahawi because of his total loyalty to the Prime Minister. Zahawi inherits a very testing situation. Inflation is at 9% and climbing. People are demanding pay rises. Budgets are being trimmed and taxes raised. The UK is tipped for a recession in 2023. It is a poisoned chalice. But Zahawi has never been one to duck a challenge. It is suspected that he harbours the ambition to become Prime Minister. Therefore, he could scarcely turn down this promotion.

Boris Johnson is tipped to be ousted as PM very soon. Could Zahawi then claim the top spot?

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TAGS:UK finance minister Nadhim Zahawi 
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