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U.K. elections: Rishi Sunak, Suella Braverman among British-Indian winners

As the Labour party swept the U.K. general elections, the number of Indian-origin Members of Parliament increased from 15 in the previous Conservative government to 26 — the highest number of British-Indian members.

Overall, 107 British-Indians contested the elections. Here are some prominent candidates and how they fared in the elections.

Also read: U.K. General Election 2024 highlights: Landslide win for Labour; Keir Starmer appointed new PM

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak, the outgoing Prime Minister of U.K., is arguably the most renowned Indian-origin political leader in the country in the current political arena. He contested the 2024 election from the Richmond and Northallerton constituency in northern England. 

Mr. Sunak was also the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of the U.K. He was born in 1980 in Southampton on England’s south coast to parents of Indian descent who were both born in East Africa.

His wife Akshata Murthy is an Indian citizen and is the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy

Among his most controversial plans was his anti-migration stance. Earlier this year, he had vowed to begin forcibly removing migrants with failed asylum claims to Rwanda starting in July in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the English Channel on boats to enter the U.K. 

Shivani Raja

Shivani Raja is the British-Indian Conservative winner from Leicester East. She is a first-generation British citizen and was born to parents who came to Leicester from Kenya and India in the late 1970s. Her policies are in line with those of Mr. Sunak’s and the larger Conservative Party, including tougher immigration controls. 

Rajesh Agrawal

Labour Party’s Rajesh Agrawal lost to Conservative candidate Shivani Raja in Leicester East. Mr. Agrawal was born in Madhya Pradesh and grew up in India, and is the former Deputy Mayor of London for Business.

Mr. Agrawal campaigned on the issues of unemployment and low wages in light of the rising cost of living. Leicester is home to many British Indians and immigrants

Kanishka Narayan

Kanishka Narayan of Labour Party won the Vale of Glamorgan constituency in Wales. He was born in Bihar, India, and moved to Cardiff with his parents at 12. He studied at Oxford and Stanford universities, and has previously worked in public policy. 

Suella Braverman

Suella Braverman was the former Home Secretary to Rishi Sunak before she was fired for defying her boss in November 2023. She was born to Indian-origin parents who emigrated to the U.K. from Africa in the 1960s. In the 2024 election, she won the Fareham and Waterlooville constituency.

Ms. Braverman has been active in the Conservative party from her days as an undergraduate student at the University of Cambridge. She campaigned for the country to leave the EU during the Brexit referendum. Despite being from a family of immigrants, she is known for her hardline views against immigration, and has previously vowed to reduce the annual inflow into the U.K. to “tens of thousands”. 

Abbas Merali

Abbas Merali was a candidate from Harrow West in the U.K. parliamentary election, representing the Conservative and Unionist Party. He was defeated by Labour Party candidate Gareth Thomas. 

Navendu Mishra

Navendu Mishra, Labour Party candidate from Stockport constituency, won the 2024 U.K. parliamentary election and held on to his seat. His parents are from Uttar Pradesh.

Prior to entering politics, Mr. Mishra was a shop-floor trade unionist in Stockport, before becoming an organiser for Unison and helping to organise care workers in precarious employment.

Preet Kaur Gill

Preet Kaur Gill won the Birmingham Edgbaston constituency as a Labour Party candidate in the 2024 U.K. general election. She became U.K.’s first female Sikh MP in 2017. She was born to parents of Indian-origin in the U.K., and was the Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health before the election. 

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, popularly called Tan Dhesi, is a U.K. politician of Indian origin who has been elected as the winner in Slough constituency. He is a Labour Party member.

Mr. Dhesi was born in Berkshire, but completed most of his primary education in Punjab, India, before returning to the U.K. at 9. In the Parliament, he was the Shadow Minister for Exports. 

Lisa Nandy

Lisa Nandy of the Labour party held on to her Wigan seat in the election — the constituency she has represented since 2010. She’s the daughter of well-known academic of Indian origin, Dipak Nandy.

In the past, she was the Labour Councillor on the Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, and has also worked as the Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities. 

Seema Malhotra

Seema Malhotra, the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate in Feltham and Heston constituency, won the 2024 U.K. election.

Before becoming a full-time politician, Ms. Malhotra worked as a management consultant. 

Valerie Vaz

Labour party candidate Valerie Vaz won the reformed Walsall and Bloxwich constituency. She was first elected in 2010 from the Walsall South constituency, which now stands abolished.

Her younger brother Keith Vaz is also a Labour leader in the U.K. and was the longest-serving Indian-origin MP in the House of Commons when he retired in 2019 after 32 years. 

Baggy Shanker

Labour candidate Baggy Shanker won the Derby south constituency in the 2024 U.K. election. He has been a trade unionist working in the manufacturing and civil aerospace sectors for over three decades. 

Uday Nagaraj

Labour candidate Uday Nagaraju lost the North Bedfordshire constituency to Conservative and Unionist Party leader Richard Fuller by a margin of over 5,000 votes.

Mr. Nagaraju studied engineering the Nagpur University before moving to the U.K. He founded the AI Policy Labs in 2020 before venturing into politics. 

Hajira Piranie

Hajira Piranie lost the Harborough, Oadby and Wigston seat to Conservative candidate Neil O’Brien by a narrow margin of only around 2,000 votes. Her mother is from Maharashtra and her paternal grandparents are from Gujarat. 

Shama Tatler  

Shama Tatler, Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, lost to Conservative candidate Iain Duncan Smith by a little under 5,000 votes. 

Ms. Tatler is a second-generation British Indian with parents who were born in Nairobi and Mombasa. She has been a Councillor for Fryent Ward. 

Ryan Jude

Labour candidate Ryan Jude lost in Tatton constituency to the Conservative candidate by only around 1,100 votes. His parents had moved to the U.K. from India to work for the NHS. He works in environmental and climate policy.

Primesh Patel

Primesh Patel, Labour party candidate in Harrow East, lost to Conservative candidate in the constituency. He started his career in health and social care sector with NHS and worked there for 18 years. 

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