The Government has for the first time announced a minister for faith.
The Prime Minister appointed Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi Minister for Faith and Communities in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.
Formerly co-chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio, Baroness Warsi becomes a Senior Minister of State and will attend cabinet, although not as a full member.
The Muslim peer's new ministerial role is in the Department for Communities and Local Government, while her other ministry role will be part of the Foreign Office, which suggests a broader remit.
A Whitehall source said that the announcement of a faith minister at time when the Government is at odds with many of its traditional supporters over gay marriage and is being taken to the European Court of Human Rights over discrimination against Christians was "tactical".
Above: Baroness Warsi met Pope Benedict XVI at a meeting for leaders of different faith groups during his 2010 visit to Britain. In the background stands Westminster Archbishop Vincent Nichols. Photo: CNS photo/Alessia Giuliani, Catholic Press Photo