British Prime Minister appoints Iraqi-Kurdish born as new finance minister

Nadhim Zahawi fled to the UK as a Kurdish refugee in the 1970s (Susannah Ireland via Independent)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi Kurdish-born education secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, was appointed as finance minister by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson late on Tuesday, replacing Rishi Sunak who earlier quit in protest at Johnson’s policies.

Nadhim Zahawi came to Britain as a child with his Kurdish family. Zahawi 55 was previously the education secretary. He was replaced as education secretary by Michelle Donelan, previously a junior education minister.

After working in junior ministerial roles in the education and business departments, he was appointed minister in charge of the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in 2020. In 2021, Boris Johnson promoted him to the cabinet to run education policy.

Like his predecessor Rishi Sunak, Zahawi will face Britain’s current economic hardship. The International Monetary Fund forecast in April that Britain in 2023 encounter slower economic growth and more persistent inflation than any other major economy around the world.

Since then, the value of British money has fallen further and it hit a two-year low against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, which will add to inflation pressures building in Britain. Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in May and the Bank of England has forecast it will top 11% in October.

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