Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2023

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© Asian Media Group - 2024


Rishi Sunak


FOR most south Asians, Diwali 2022 produced an auspicious present. In the history of the UK, its prime minister was a person of colour. Not only that, he was “one of us”. Further, he was anointed. His name, Rishi Sunak. Even those across the political divide knew they were witnessing history.

“I’m incredibly proud that Rishi is a prime minister, genuinely this is a source of pride to me that an Asian boy is the prime minister,” London mayor, Sadiq Khan, told the GG2 Power List. “This is this is above party politics because it shows how much our country’s progressed that we’ve got an Asian prime minister. Of course, he’s Conservative, but some things are bigger than party politics that for me was also really important.”

But it was not an easy route to the top of this country’s greasy political pole. In July 2022, he became the second cabinet colleague to resign and say he could no longer work for his boss Boris Johnson. The first, by a few minutes, was Sajid Javid, at health. But this resignation was different. Sunak lived next door to Johnson, and the signs of disagreement were already there. The then prime minister was mired in political sleaze with an investigation into Downing Street parties during Covid. Sunak was fined after he inadvertently spent minutes in a room with the then PM whose wife brought in a birthday cake. To make matters worse, Johnson backed an MP found guilty by the parliamentary standards commissioner of breaching parliamentary rules in lobbying ministers and officials. He was also forced to say sorry for appointing Chris Pincher to a government role after being told about a misconduct complaint against the MP. But when Johnson made a fake slur against the Labour leader, for which he never

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