Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

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Ravinder Athwal


AS Britain enters what is all likelihood set to be a general election year, the Labour Party’s Ravinder Athwal, or Rav as he is popularly known as, has a crucial job at hand. His party has entrusted him with the task of writing the manifesto. Athwal (33) has been the Labour Party’s Head of Economic Policy since September 2022. He took over this role after Claire Ainsley stepped down. Prior to that this assignment, the Cambridge University graduate was the head of growth strategy at the Treasury.

After Sir Keir Starmer took over the reins of the Labour Party, he wanted to steer his party to a more centrist path and jettison its left leaning legacy from his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn. Starmer recruited a group of ex-civil serv ants, including Athwal, to provide a makeover for the party. Labour is looking for a pragmatic and stripped-down manifesto to ‘bombproof’ the Party from attacks by the Tories. As a result, the party is planning only limited first-term reforms on social care and a green investment plan, with strong underpinnings towards fiscal discipline. Early into this year, the Labour party cut its green investment plans by half from £28bn a year to under £15bn, to shield itself against Conservative party attacks on the scale of borrowing required. The move has angered many green activists. A key task for Athwal and shadow Treasury chief secretary Darren Jones is to make sure the manifesto sums add up, especially given the party is committed to raising only relatively small amounts of money in extra taxes. Athwal is being provided inputs by each shadow department and he is crunching policy submissions to give final shape to the Labour party’s manifesto. Many of Labour’s policies have already been agreed, including reforming the planning system, setting up a

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