By Reena Kumar
London mayor Sadiq Khan paid tribute to the huge strides British Asians have made from overcoming prejudice their parents faced to becoming successful entrepreneurs and media personalities within just one generation.
Speaking at the prestigious Asian Business Awards last Friday (17), the Mayor praised the top wealth creators who had gathered at the ceremony before the launch of the annual Rich List ranking the most affluent Asians in the UK.
During a question and answer session with radio DJ and compere Nihal, Khan said: “When our parents came to this country, there were signs saying no blacks, no Irish, no dogs, within one generation, you’ve got this guy (Nihal) on BBC Five Live across the country, and this guy (pointing to himself) the Mayor of London.”
The Labour mayor who was elected into the roles last May, addressed the 800 strong audience comprising high profile guests from a range of industries including billionaire Gopichand Hinduja, co-chairman of the Hinduja Group, and film director Gurinder Chadha.
Khan said: “Your businesses do so much more than add value to our economy, you brighten up our high streets, improve the quality of life in our neighbourhoods and enrich our society and our culture, from small shops to big stores from restaurants to financial services and telecomms. Wherever you look around the country…. Asian people are writing and starring in their own success stories.”
Addressing what the Labour party needed to do in order to be a credible opposition, Khan said one of the reason’s why Britain had an “appalling” government was because the of the failure of the opposition.
“Good competition raises your game in business, it raises your game in sport. As members of the Labour party, we can only improve people’s lives for the better by winning elections. I hope we can show in the last ten months, the difference a full time committed Labour mayor has made to our city.
“The job of my party is to show the country we are an effective credible opposition and then to earn the trust and confidence of people at home so we can be an effective and good government. It breaks my heart that the bad Conservative government are points ahead of the Labour party, those of us who want to see Labour succeed, we’ve all got a role to play in making sure we are a credible opposition.”