Claire Coutinho has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero in the UK government, making her the second Indian-origin minister in Rishi Sunak’s cabinet, following Home Secretary Suella Braverman. This promotion marks a significant milestone in her career as she becomes the first member of parliament elected in 2019 to join the cabinet.
Coutinho’s professional journey is diverse; she began her career at Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, before transitioning to social justice policy work. She holds a Master’s degree in Maths and Philosophy from Oxford University and actively supported Brexit. Notably, she previously worked as an aide to Rishi Sunak during his tenure as a junior minister in the finance ministry.
At 38 years old, Claire Coutinho is now the youngest member of Rishi Sunak’s cabinet. Her appointment comes at a critical juncture for the UK, with energy costs soaring due to the Russia-Ukraine War. In response to her new role, Coutinho has expressed her commitment to safeguarding the UK’s energy security while simultaneously fostering a cleaner energy industry to reduce costs for families.
Her appointment comes as a result of Grant Shapps’ transition to the position of Defence Secretary following the resignation of Ben Wallace. Notably, Claire Coutinho has voiced opposition to the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, an initiative aimed at reducing traffic emissions through daily charges on the most polluting vehicles, proposed by the city’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan.
Claire Coutinho’s elevation to the cabinet underscores her growing influence and responsibility in the UK government, particularly in addressing the pressing challenges related to energy security and sustainability.
Re-reported from the article originally published in Shethepeople