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London’s Indian-origin deputy mayor for business to step down

Updated: Nov 28th, 2023

Image: IANS

London’s Indian-origin deputy mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal is stepping down from his position to focus on campaigning after his recent selection as the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate in Leicester East.  

Agrawal took over the deputy’s role in 2016, having been appointed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, commanding a salary of £141,406 per year.

He was chosen at a hustings held on Nov 18 to represent the constituency with one of the biggest South Asian populations in the UK, witnessing fierce communal clashes in 2022, following an India-Pakistan cricket match.

“After my recent selection as the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate and careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to step down as deputy mayor of London to focus on campaigning in Leicester East,” Agrawal wrote in a post shared on X on Nov 27.

“It has truly been an honour and a privilege to serve Londoners in this capacity for the past seven and a half years – and I have given it my all. Like millions of other people, I arrived in this country with very little and made it my home. As I worked just above the minimum wage, I knew that there is a thin line between failure and success,” the fintech entrepreneur said.

Agrawal said that during his tenure, he has been able to deliver on commitments, against a backdrop of Brexit, botched trade negotiations, the Covid-19 pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis.

He has also led trade missions around the world to promote London’s investment opportunities - including his trips to India, Japan and the US.

He has also served as chair of the capital’s business growth and destination agency.

In his campaign statement, Agrawal stated that Leicester East needs an MP like him who is “passionately pro business and pro worker, ambitious to attract investment that transforms your prospects, bridging the regional cultural, economic and religious differences that can too easily divide us”.

As an MP for Leicester East, Agrawal said he would be focusing on affordable homes for all his constituents, encourage diverse communities to come together, protect jobs, promote fair pay and increase the standard of living for all.

Leicester East has been won by Labour in every election since 1987.

But the constituency has been subjected to an internal investigation by the party’s headquarters, following concerns over Labour’s performance in the city’s local elections in May.

(Source: IANS)

-Edited for style

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