February 13, 2020 / 3:18 PM / 12 days ago

Five facts about Alok Sharma, new UK Business Secretary

Newly appointed Britain's Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma leaves Downing Street in London, Britain February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Alok Sharma, appointed business minister and head of November’s COP26 climate change summit on Thursday, has held several ministerial posts and is seen as a loyal supporter of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

- Sharma, 52, was born in India, moving to Reading in southern England when he was five years old.

- With a background in banking, he was elected Member of Parliament for Reading West in 2010 with one of the largest swings to the Conservatives in the country, according to his website.

- Sharma has held various roles, becoming the prime minister’s infrastructure envoy to India in 2016 and a minister for housing the next year. He became the minister for international aid in 2019.

- He was tearful in parliament in 2016, when as housing minister he described meeting the survivors of a devastating fire at an apartment block in London that killed more than 70 people. He said: “Hearing the harrowing accounts of survivors has been the most humbling and moving experience of my life.”

- Sharma is married and has two daughters.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison

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