London: An Indian-origin British MP was on Tuesday promoted to a prominent role in the Treasury department as part of Prime Minister David Cameron`s cabinet reshuffle.
Priti Patel, the Conservative party MP for Witham in Essex, who serves as Cameron`s Indian Diaspora Champion charged with the task of forging closer ties with Indian communities in the UK, will now take charge as the Exchequer Secretary under Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
A member of the pro-markets Free Enterprise group, 42-year-old Patel has been part of the Downing Street policy board and had most recently impressed?her new boss,?Osborne, during his Mumbai visit where he described her as a "champion of the British Indian community".
"The delegation announced exciting new trade deals with India and met with leading political and economic figures, including the country`s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi," she said in her post-visit round-up.
"Modi has shown that he is a man who can deliver stronger economic ties with the UK and re-energise his country, backing up his words with actions," she added.
Patel is being seen as part of a new set of Conservative party women being promoted to re-brand the party in time for next year`s general elections.
London-born Patel was educated at a Watford comprehensive school before studying economics at Keele University and completing her post-graduate studies at the University of Essex.
After assisting her parents in running a number of small businesses around the south-east and east of England, she worked in corporate communications for a variety of international companies.
She became MP for Witham in 2010 and is known as a straight-talker who has risen fast up the party ranks.
She has also been in the headlines recently for taking on the BBC in London for its "one-sided" coverage of Modi`s election as prime minister during a `Newsnight` programme.
Writing on Twitter, Cameron said, "This reshuffle?is about putting in place a team that continues to deliver the long term economic plan and ensures a brighter future for all".
Among some of the other women to be promoted in the reshuffle include financial secretary and women`s minister Nicky Morgan to education secretary, Esther McVey is promoted to now attend Cabinet in her role as minister for employment and disabilities, and former education minister Liz Truss becomes the new environment secretary.
Among other key appointments, defence secretary Philip Hammond replaces William Hague as foreign secretary and Lord Hill, Leader of the House of Lords, has been nominated as the UK`s next European Commissioner.