AN Asian-origin MP has been appointed as the prime minister’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief.

Rehman Chishti MP will be responsible for advocating for the rights of all individuals in the UK who are being discriminated against and persecuted for their faith or belief.

He was previously the vice-chairman of the Conservative party covering faith and communities.

Announcing Chishti’s appointment, prime minister Boris Johnson said: “People across the world deserve the chance to practise their beliefs freely. I’m delighted to appoint Rehman as my new Special Envoy and look forward to him building on the important work we have already done on this issue.

“The UK will always be a passionate advocate for greater tolerance, respect and understanding internationally.”

Responding to his appointment, Chishti said he will use the government’s global network to “take real action to support those persecuted for their faith or belief, and promote greater understanding and respect between faiths.”

He added: “As someone whose family came to the UK when I was six years old, and my father had taken up a role as an Imam, my family and I have always been able to openly and freely practise our faith. I want to ensure every citizen around the world is able to enjoy this basic right. Freedom of Religion, practice and belief is one of the foundations of a free society.”