Baroness Warsi becomes first Muslim woman in British Cabinet

Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister said on Thursday it was “humbling” to join the government, after taking part in new Prime Minister David Cameron’s first full ministerial meeting. Sayeeda Warsi is the Conservative Party’s chairwoman and minister without portfolio in Cameron’s new coalition government.

“For anybody to serve in government is a privilege,” said the 39-year-old of Pakistani origin, after Cameron held his first Cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street. “But to be born the daughter of an immigrant mill-worker in a mill town in Yorkshire, to have the privilege of serving in Cabinet at such an important time in Britain’s history I think is terribly humbling,” she told the BBC.

Baroness Warsi is one of the extremely few exceptions of the predominantly male and white Cabinet.

UK hints at foreign policy shift

A British Cabinet minister has hinted at a change in the relationship between the UK and US. Speaking in the US, International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander emphasised the need for “new alliances, based on common values”. He warned against unilateralism and called for an “internationalist approach” to global problems. Correspondents say the speech appeared to be a “coded criticism” of the policies of President George W Bush.