UK PM Cameron appoints India expert as key adviser

Last Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 18:28

London: British Prime Minister David Cameron has promoted London mayor Boris Johnson`s younger brother, Jo, an India expert, as his key adviser in Downing Street in an attempt to reinvigorate the Conservative party.
Jo Johnson, the former Delhi-based South Asia Bureau Chief for `The Financial Times`, who is widely seen as a champion of the emerging markets and India, will now head up the Downing Street policy unit as a Cabinet Office minister.

"Great there is finally a Johnson in No 10. Jo will be superb," said his older brother Boris, who is touted as Cameron`s successor to 10, Downing Street.

The `Daily Telegraph` quoted Tory sources as saying that Jo Johnson`s appointment marked the beginning of a more "Thatcher-style" policy unit at the heart of British government.

The 41-year-old MP for Orpington will be based in the PM`s office and work on Conservative, rather than coalition, policy.

Johnson, who was a schoolmate of Cameron`s at the prestigious Eton College, has impressed the Conservative leader since his election as MP at the 2010 polls.

The former FT bureau chief for India was asked by Cameron to accompany him on his first overseas trade mission to India in July 2010, soon after he took over as PM.

The author of `Reconnecting Britain and India: Ideas for an Enhanced Partnership`, Johnson has been quoted as saying that "India`s success is of strategic importance not just to the UK, but to all open societies and the UK is determined to do all it can to be a partner in that process".

His entry into Downing Street will be keenly observed by those tracking the India-UK "special relationship", further highlighted during Cameron`s high-profile second visit to the country in February this year.

Johnson will be assisted in his new role by a newly-created Conservative Parliamentary Advisory Board, which will be largely comprised of young Conservative MPs tasked with drawing up innovative new ideas to reinvigorate Cameron`s premiership.

Among the MPs on the board include rising star Paul Singh Uppal, who accompanied Cameron on his recent visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

The 45-year-old was elected from Wolverhampton South West in the 2010 general election and is among Cameron`s most trusted Indian-origin MPs.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 18:28

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