"I do hope that Jeremy Hunt will be our next prime minister and I know that he takes relations with India very seriously and it will certainly be top of his in-tray," said Amber Rudd (Photo: Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images).


BRITAIN is a “steadfast friend” of India and the UK’s new prime minister who succeeds Theresa May next month will ensure that strengthening the bilateral relationship is on the top of his agenda, secretary of state for work and pensions Amber Rudd said earlier this week.

The senior Cabinet minister stressed more ambitious India-UK ties.

“I do hope that Jeremy Hunt will be our next prime minister and I know that he takes relations with India very seriously and it will certainly be top of his in-tray,” said Rudd.

“There is a need to be ambitious from the UK’s side, but one thing is certain that Britain is a steadfast friend of India and vice versa.”

The India Day event was hosted by India’s high commissioner to the UK, Ruchi Ghanashyam, and British Asian peer Lord Jitesh Gadhia.

“Recent FDI (foreign direct investment) figures are proof that the interest of Indian businesses remains strong. Brexit or no Brexit, there is a confidence in the UK as a place to do business;’ said Ghanashyam.

Lord Gadhia added: “The UK’s relationship with India is a litmus test for anyone who advocates a brighter future for the UK outside the European Union.”

He further noted: “If we can’t win big with the largest Commonwealth nation, where English is the lingua franca of business; which uses a similar common law system and institutional frameworks; and where over 1.5 million members of the Indian diaspora in the UK provide a ‘Living Bridge’, then where are we going to secure the spoils of Brexit?”