Rajat Sharma


AKB30 The first British Prime Minister of Indian origin, Rishi Sunak, suffered a devastating electoral defeat for his Conservative party, after Labour party led by Sir Keir Starmer swept to power after 14 years. This was the worst Conservative defeat in the last two centuries. Rishi Sunak’s gamble of preponing the general elections failed. In a House of 650, Labour Party won 412 seats (a gain of 214), while Conservative Party could win only 121 seats (a big loss of 252 seats). Minutes after Rishi Sunak resigned, Keir Starmer took over as the new Prime Minister and later announced his cabinet. David Lammy became the Foreign Secretary, Rachel Reeves beame the first woman to become Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister), Yvette Cooper became Home Secretary and John Healey Defence Secretary. The Conservative party, ruling United Kingdom for the last 14 years, was defeated because of intra-party controversies, poor condition of economy, falling levels of living standards, and a host of scandals. Before entering 10, Downing Street, Starmer vowed to rebuild Britain “brick by brick” and provide security to millions of working class families. He said, “From now on, you have a government unburdened by docrine, guided only by a determination to serve your interests. To defy, quitely, those who written our country off….Brick by brick, we will rebuild the infrastructure of opportunity. The world-class schools and colleges, the affordable homes that I know are the ingredients of hope for working people. The security that working-class families like mine could build their lives around.” A record 29 Indian-origin MPs have been elected this time. Out of them, 19 MPs belong to Labour, seven to Conservative party, two Independents and one a Liberal democrat. Fifteen MPs are of Pakistani origin. In the outgoing House of Commons, there were only six MPs of Indian origin belonging to Labour Party. But this time, their number is 19 in the Labour Party. This was the reason why Keir Starmer told his election meetings that improving relations with India will be one of his top priorities. He described Jammu and Kashmir as an intergral part of India, he performed pooja at the Swami Narayan temple, and gave party tickets to a large number of leaders of Indian origin. The result was that, Rishi Sunak failed to get the support of voters of Indian origin. Labour party has realized the electoral power of British Indians. One should be optimistic about both India and the UK signing the much-awaited Free Trade Agreement soon. India is hopeful that Starmer’s goernment would agree to give work permits to Indian IT professionals. Both the countries are hopeful about an early agreeement.

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