New Delhi: Rishi Sunak, son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy, has been appointed as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer after Sajid Javid resigned in a shock development on Thursday.
The appointment of the 39-year-old Sunak, the Treasury chief secretary since last July, was confirmed by 10 Downing Street in a tweet.
Sunak, the MP from Richmond in Yorkshire, will join Home secretary Priti Patel on the top government bench as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will move into No. 11 Downing Street, next door to the Prime Minister's Office as he takes charge of the second most important government position as the finance minister.
"The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the appointment of Rt Hon Rishi Sunak as Chancellor of the Exchequer," Downing Street said in the official announcement.
The promotion came after Britain's finance minister Sajid Javid resigned on Thursday, just weeks after Brexit and a month before he was due to deliver the government's annual budget.
Javid's spokesperson confirmed he would be leaving just as Prime Minister Boris Johnson carried out the first reshuffle of his cabinet since winning a parliamentary majority in December's election.
The chancellor of the exchequer stood down after Johnson tried to use a reorganisation of his cabinet to get rid of some of Javid's aides, a source close to the departing minister said. He was immediately replaced by Sunak.
Javid's departure is a major upset at a turbulent time for Britain, just weeks after leaving the European Union on January 31, a process that has left the country with an uncertain future.
Johnson was on Thursday carrying out a cabinet reshuffle, his first since winning a comfortable parliamentary majority in the December general election.
Javid, a former City of London banker born into a working class Muslim family, was considered safe in his job despite reports of tensions between him and Johnson's senior aide, Dominic Cummings. But rumours began to circulate after his meeting with the prime minister went on longer than expected.
"He has turned down the job of chancellor of the exchequer," a source close to Javid said. "The prime minister said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with Number 10 special advisers to make it one team. The chancellor said no self-respecting minister would accept those terms."
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox were also shown the door.
But Foreign Minister Dominic Raab and Michael Gove, Johnson's de factor deputy, are staying.
Johnson held off from carrying out a cabinet reshuffle immediately after his December victory, choosing to wait until Britain left the EU.
After years of political turmoil over Brexit, he wants to focus this year on domestic issues, including investments in police, healthcare and infrastructure.
Johnson also named former aid minister Alok Sharma as the new minister in charge of the COP 26 UN climate summit, which is being held in Glasgow in November.
The former president, Claire O'Neill, was sacked last month. She responded with a blistering attack on his leadership, and warned that planning for the summit was "way off track".
(With inputs from agencies)