Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

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Anushka Asthana


AS THE UK readies for a General Election, Anushka Asthana, Deputy Political Editor, ITV News will be running up and down the country in pursuit of a story that will have the nation turning into their TV sets. Asthana recently interviewed both main party leaders up and close and personal, look ing at how they ticked as people – rather just as politicians on their beat – for ITV’s Tonight programme. Asthana followed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for over three months in an attempt to get an in-depth view of what drives the Labour leader politically.

To understand his political journey, she went to his old university in Leeds, asked about tax and immigration in a target constituency, and pressed him on climate action policies. She also made Starmer open up about his fears for his family and talk about his football obsession as an Arsenal fan – as he and his par ty aim to win the elections after 13 years. Asthana also had weeks of exclusive access to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to find out what kind of man the Conservative party leader is. This included attending a family breakfast at 10 Downing Street and a trip to Southampton, where Sunak was born and raised, visit the old Sunak family pharmacy, and see where his father worked as a general practitioner. She asked him some pointed questions like what will happen when he’s no longer PM, and Sunak was honest enough to say he’d love to spend more time with his kids. Born in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, Asthana grew up in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester. Her parents are doctors and emigrated to the UK from New Delhi, India, in 1975.

She points out that it was a difficult decision for them to make, to leave their family members and

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