Having led his Labour party to victory in the recent local elections, the law graduate from Delhi University took oath as the first citizen of the borough at Southwark Cathedral over the weekend. Under his stewardship, Labour emerged victorious over the Liberal Democrats in London Bridge and West Bermondsey seats. The win is considered significant as the Indian community accounts for just two per cent of the population in the seats.
1. First Indian-origin person to hold the office Chopra, who entered UK politics in 2010, was elected as Southwark’s mayor for the first time in 2014. He was also deputy mayor in 2013-2014, the first Indian-origin person to hold the prestigious office in the Borough.
2. Political journey His political journey started in the 1970s in Delhi. Chopra became the supreme councillor at Delhi University in 1973-74 while pursuing his law degree and his contemporaries included Arun Jaitley who went on to become India’s finance minister.
3. Business in UK After moving to the UK in 1979, Chopra started a retail enterprise shop which grew into a wholesale business of children’s garments and baby products.
4. Involved in local community work He also organised cultural events and community work to promote Indian culture and co-founded the Southwark Hindu Centre. Moreover, on Saturday (21), Chopra announced the adoption of two charities working in the healthcare sector – King’s College Hospital Charity and BlindAid which provides support to people with visual disabilities.
5. UK-India ties Mr Chopra also envisions strengthening the economic and cultural ties between the UK and India. He is keen to promote Southwark locally and globally. He is passionate to bring diverse communities together. He believes in equality, social justice and respect for all. He is very keen to work with NGOs, charitable organisations where he can share his experiences and expertise.