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Politics Series 5: British-Ghanaian MPs who have left government

In 2021, we at AKADi Magazine, profiled the leading British Ghanaians in UK politics in our sixth digital magazine issue. We called it ‘Ghanaians in Politics’.

Ahead of the 4 July UK Parliamentary elections, we take a glance back at the Ghanaian names in the UK’s political scene that we covered, look at what they’ve been doing since and highlight some newer faces on the political scene.

In this third post in this series on British Ghanaians in politics, we focus on three MPs who left their government positions.

Kwasi Kwarteng will be remembered as Britain’s first Black chancellor of the exchequer and Britain’s shortest-serving living chancellor too. Kwasi was dismissed by then Prime Minister Liz Truss as chancellor after 38 days. The only chancellor to have lasted for shorter time than died in office. His name was Iain Macleod and he was Chancellor for 30 days.


Kwasi was born in the London Borough of Waltham Forest in 1975, to parents that migrated from Ghana to the UK as students in the 1960s.

Kwasi Kwarteng. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Kwasi Kwarteng. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

His mother was a barrister and his father an economist in the Commonwealth Secretariat – the main intergovernmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth of Nations.


Kwasi has a BA and PhD in History from Cambridge. Prior to entering Parliament, Kwasi worked as a financial analyst and author.


He was selected as the Conservative candidate for Spelthorne in 2010 and won the seat and was re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In 2021 under the Boris Johnson’s leadership, he became Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


In February 2024, Kwasi said he would not seek re-election as an MP in the 2024 general election. Read more here.


Adam Afriyie was born in Wimbledon, south London in 1965 to a Ghanaian father and an English mother.


Adam Afriyie Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Adam Afriyie Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

He became the Conservative Party’s first mixed-race MP in the 2005 British elections, after taking the constituency of Windsor in southeast England, in the general election.


He served on select and standing committees, led policy development, and became Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation from 2007 to 2010.


Adam became the UK Prime Minister’s trade envoy a year later in 2017 and attended the inauguration of Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He was a member of Parliament for Windsor & Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.


In 2022, Judge Nicholas Briggs made a bankruptcy order against Adam at an online hearing in the Insolvency and Companies Court. Adam subsequently announced that he would not contest his seat in a future general election and has since left politics.


Banker and former politician Samuel Phillip Gyimah served as the MP for East Surrey between 2010 and 2019.


Sam Gyimah. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Sam Gyimah. Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

He was born on 10 August 1976 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His father Samuel was a GP, and his mother Comfort Mainoo, was a midwife. He schooled at Achimota School in Accra before returning to the UK and starting his career at Goldman Sachs International.


He entered government in 2012. His appointments in government included:

  • Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury (2013-2014)

  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education (2014-2016)

  • Minister for the Constitution (2014-2015)

  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prisons and Probation (2016-2018)

  • Minister for Universities, Science, Research, and Innovation (2018)


On 2 June 2019, Sam announced his intention to stand as a candidate for the Conservative Party leadership election. He was the only leadership candidate advocating for a second referendum. He withdrew on 10 June, the day that candidatures were to be formalised.


He switched allegiance to Liberal Democrats but was unsuccessful in standing for the party in Kensington in the 2019 General Election.

He returned to Goldman Sachs International as a board member and is founder and ceo of SGA, an international advisory firm he founded to provide research information to support investors.

This article is an original piece written by AKADi Magazine. The contents of this page cannot be reproduced without permission.

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