UK: Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime ministerial candidate, has stated that he wants to change the UK-India relationship to make it more two-way, allowing UK students and businesses easy access to India.

On Monday evening, at a campaign hustings event hosted by the Conservative Friends of India (CFIN) diaspora organization in north London, they greeted the British Indian crowd with traditional greetings like “namaste,” “salaam.”

He further said, “We are all very aware of the opportunity for the UK to sell things and do things in India, but actually we need to look at that relationship differently because there is an enormous amount that we here in the UK can learn from India.”.

Regarding China, the former minister reaffirmed that the UK’s defense against aggression must be “adamant.”

The former minister made a dramatic entrance at the Dhamecha Lohana Centre in Harrow to dhol beats and thunderous applause. After speaking briefly, he spent hours mingling with hundreds of Tory members who had lined up to shake his hand.

Older people in the throng showered him with blessings, some gave him pats on the back, and eight-year-old Tanish Sahu took a particular photo of Mr. Sunak carrying him.

British Sikh Tory

In stark contrast, a British Sikh Tory party member stood in line for hours to have Mr. Sunak autograph a special bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey, even though both he and the former Chancellor abstain from alcohol.

An investment banker from Britain and India who was skeptical said he wasn’t sure yet since he disagreed with Mr. Sunak’s management of the Bounce Back Loan program, which was implemented after the COVID-19 lockdowns and has been “abused” by many. However, he acknowledged that Mr. Sunak might win his support because leadership rival Foreign Secretary Liz Truss didn’t persuade him.

Most respondents, however, appeared to believe that Mr. Sunak’s Indian ancestry and background as a member of an ethnic minority had no bearing on the race to succeed Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and British prime minister.

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