To see Rishi Sunak become Britain’s first Hindu Prime Minister is a proud moment
History has been made as the Conservative Party has elected Rishi Sunak as their leader and therefore Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
This is a proud day not only for British Indians but for people from all immigrant backgrounds who can now truly say there are no limits to what they can achieve in the UK. We can celebrate the inclusion of ethnic minorities in the mainstream of British Politics based on their abilities not identity.
When I got involved in the Conservative Party 40 years ago, it looked very different, and we have made a lot of progress to make it the modern and diverse party it is today. We did so not by quotas and restrictive lists but by promoting those judged to be the best for the job. By following a basic belief that talent should rise, and that this talent should reflect the natural conservative tendencies of so many immigrant sections of British society – sections that have long embraced their Britishness.
Children across the UK who come from immigrant backgrounds will see that there is no limit to what they can achieve
As a country we proudly celebrate our diversity and have made great progress on freedom of religion. With Rishi Sunak as the new Prime Minister, the UK will for the first time have a Hindu Prime Minister. This is even more significant as we are currently celebrating Diwali as a community. Britain has a long history of people practising their faiths whilst also recognising and celebrating others.
Many will wonder what this election means for the UK’s relationship with India. The election of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister will certainly help when he engages directly with Prime Minister Modi. Under Sunak’s leadership, we will see the completion of the UK-India Trade deal which will solidify our partnership.
Rishi Sunak’s premiership will also help us strengthen the relationship between the UK and Africa, a continent with huge potential especially as we look towards other countries to trade with post Brexit. With both his parents coming from East Africa, Sunak will have a special relationship with Africa. As Trade Envoy, I have been able to increase trade fivefold with Uganda and most recently hosted the president of the DRC in Parliament to discuss our trading relationship. As we face economic challenges, not just in the UK but globally, I know Sunak will look at look for opportunities including in Africa, and I look forward to assisting him in doing that.
Sunak has a major task ahead of him and his immediate priorities will be dealing with the cost-of-living, the war in Ukraine and restoring Britain’s credibility. Being a politician and technocrat, he has the knowledge and experience to succeed, and I welcome that he has received support from across the party. Only by having a united party can we have a strong government that can tackle the challenges we face. I strongly believe that Sunak will do this over the weeks and months ahead.
Sunak served as Chancellor during the pandemic and supported people and businesses at a time when they needed it most. The support was not only delivered quickly but in such a way that it saved millions of jobs in the process.
It is vital that we now come together as a party and support the Prime Minister to lead us through this challenging time. Today history has been made, not just for the Conservative Party but for the United Kingdom. Children across the UK who come from immigrant backgrounds but especially those in the British Asian community will see that there is no limit to what they can achieve in the UK through hard work and determination.
Rishi Sunak has not only made history as the first British Asian Prime Minister but will also bring stability to the UK.
Dolar Popat, Conservative peer.
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