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Former refugee Nadhim Zahawi, who arrived in the UK at the age of nine, is the new education secretary

Nadhim Zahawi (pictured), who arrived in the UK as a nine-year-old boy who could not speak English, was promoted to education minister yesterday, replacing Gavin Williamson
Former refugee Nadhim Zahawi, who arrived in the UK at the age of nine, is the new education secretary

Former refugee Nadhim Zahawi, who arrived in the UK at the age of nine without a word of English, continues his stellar rise as the new education secretary

  • Nadhim Zahawi, 54, is appointed Minister of Education in redeployment
  • Zahawi fled Iraq under Saddam Hussein with his family while a child
  • As one of the richest MPs, he created the electorate YouGov










Nadhim Zahawi, who arrived in the UK as a nine-year-old boy unable to speak English, was promoted to education minister yesterday and replaced Gavin Williamson.

The former health minister was rewarded with a cabinet role following the successful rollout of vaccines across the UK.

Zahawi, 54, who fled Iraq under Saddam Hussein with his family when he was a child, gave up double thumbs up when he left No. 10 yesterday after accepting his new job.

The MP for Stratford-on-Avon will face a difficult brief in the Department of Education, which has struggled to cope with the virus’ impact on schooling during the pandemic, and it will be a hard job to regain parental trust.

Nadhim Zahawi (pictured), who arrived in the UK as a nine-year-old boy who could not speak English, was promoted to education minister yesterday, replacing Gavin Williamson

But as a former school minister before he was promoted to vaccine minister, he has experience from the department.

He said: ‘From my own experience, I know what a landmark this country can be, and I want all children, young people and adults to have access to a brilliant education, the right qualifications and opportunities to secure good jobs.

‘It is important both for them and also our economy and is more important now than ever before.’

Mary Bousted of the NEU Education Association said: ‘We hope Nadhim Zahawi shows a passion and interest in education and realizes the power that valued educators have to transform the lives of young people.’

Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said: ‘The Department of Education may be under new management, but the same challenges remain.’

Geoff Barton of the Association of School and College Leaders said: 'The Department of Education may be under new management, but the same challenges remain.'

Mary Bousted of the NEU Education Association said: 'We hope Nadhim Zahawi shows a passion and interest in education and realizes the power that valued educators have to transform the lives of young people.'

Geoff Barton (pictured left) of the Association of School and College Leaders, said ‘the same challenges remain’. Mary Bousted (pictured right) from the NEU Education Association said she hopes Nadhim Zahawi ‘shows a passion and interest in education’

Zahawi was a private student at King’s College School in west London. He studied chemical engineering at University College London.

One of the richest MPs, he set up polling company YouGov.

He is said to have a real estate empire worth around £ 100m.

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