Shahid Malik promoted as part of cabinet reshuffle
Britain’s first Muslim minister, Shahid Malik, has been promoted to the department of justice as part of Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle.
The Dewsbury MP, who is currently a minister for international development, said he hoped to make Britain “a more just society” in his new role as a minister in the department for justice.
“While I have truly loved my international role working to deliver justice for the poorest around the world, I’m now relishing the opportunity to make Britain an even fairer and more just society for all its citizens,” he said.
As an MP, Malik gained experience of violent youth crime in Britain when a teenager was murdered by a gang of young people in his constituency in May this year.
After the killing, the MP, who lives just a few minutes walk from the scene of the attack, called for “a change in society”, warning that too many young people were adopting a culture where violence was an accepted part of life.
In another government move, Tom Harris, transport minister, has been sacked. The Glasgow South MP said: “Obviously I’m disappointed; I really enjoyed being a minister. But I was always realistic – ministerial jobs come and go, but the role of an MP is more important than any other. And of course I will continue to support the government from the backbenches.”
The finishing touches to the government reshuffle are being announced over the weekend. The posts of immigration minister and police minister at the Home Office have yet to be filled.
A number of senior ministers have today been speaking out in support of Peter Mandelson, who has been brought back to the cabinet as business secretary.
Ed Miliband, who was appointed to the new post of Energy and Climate Change Secretary in yesterday’s reshuffle, said Mandelson would make the government “stronger”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “Peter Mandelson has people who like him and people who don’t like him, but even his critics would accept that this is someone of immense talent and someone of even greater experience now that he has been the EU Trade Commissioner for three years.”
Ed Balls, the schools secretary, described Mandelson’s appointment as “the right thing to do”.