Peterborough's Asian community’s 'sense of pride' as Rishi Sunak becomes UK's first PM of colour

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"I never thought that in my lifetime we would have a British-Asian prime minister.”

Peterborough’s Asian community have expressed their “sense of pride” after Rishi Sunak became the first ever prime minister of colour and also first Hindu at No 10.

Significantly, Mr Sunak was appointed as Conservative leader on Diwali before he was appointed as the UK’s prime minister by King Charles III on October 25.

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The former chancellor previously ran to become Conservative Party leader in September but lost to former prime minister Liz Truss, who resigned after six weeks.

Rishi Sunak was named as the UK’s next leader on Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.Rishi Sunak was named as the UK’s next leader on Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
Rishi Sunak was named as the UK’s next leader on Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.

Sunak was born in Southampton to African-born Hindu parents of Indian Punjabi descent.

He is the first person of South Asian origin to become the UK’s prime minister.

‘I’m optimistic about the future’

"I take pride in the fact that he is the first British-Asian prime minister and the first for the Conservative Party,” Dr Haq Nawaz, deputy mayor of Whittlesey Town Council and Conservative Party councillor for the Stonald ward, said.

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"It would appear that the Conservative Party is the most socially progressive party in the country and a remarkably progressive party, which is perpetually modernising itself.

“I feel very positive for this country and optimistic about the future.”

‘Extremely proud’

"I don’t agree with his politics, but I’m extremely proud that we, as British Asians, are getting these opportunities,” Labour and Co-operative Party councillor Ansar Ali, who represents Peterborough North, said.

“It’s what makes this wonderful country great. This country is a land of opportunity and it has given me so much.

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"I couldn’t hide the sense of joy when telling my grandchildren.”

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‘It’s nice for our children’

"I never thought that in my lifetime we would have a British-Asian prime minister,” Rony Choudhury, owner of Bombay Brasserie, in Broadway, and Peterborough's longest-serving restaurant boss, said.

"It shows future generations that if they have the ambition to achieve something in life they can.

“I wish him all the best and hope he can bring us out of this crisis.”

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‘Sense of pride’

"I feel a sense of pride in the country that we have allowed this to happen,” professor Akbar Vohra, 62, who moved to Peterborough from Uganda in 1972 following the expulsion of Uganda’s entire Asian population, said.

“It’s a proud moment for hardworking British Asians and the country itself."