London, November 20
Indore-born entrepreneur and London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, has been selected by the Opposition Labour Party as its parliamentary candidate to contest from the constituency of Leicester East in the next general election.
Agrawal, 46, took to social media on Sunday to announce his selection and pledged to deliver as a member of Parliament for all residents of a constituency that represents one of the largest South Asian origin populations in the UK.
In a local parliamentary contest, he beat another Indian-origin prospective candidate Councillor Rishi Madlani to be named Labour’s choice for the next polls – expected in 2024.
“I’m honoured to be selected as the Labour Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Leicester East,” Agrawal posted on X.
“It’s time to use this auspicious moment to reset Leicester East, with a Labour MP who’ll deliver for everyone who lives here. Together, let’s get Britain’s future back,” he said.
The Labour politician, who has the backing of London Mayor Sadiq Khan among others, pledged to continue to champion the ideals he has been committed to as London’s Deputy Mayor.
“As London’s Deputy Mayor for Business, I’ve flown the British flag and championed our ideals around the world, attracting hundreds of millions in international investment; creating hundreds of thousands more jobs and giving over 2,55,000 people better employment conditions. I’ll bring similar successes to Leicester East and make sure it gets its fair share,” reads his mission statement.
He reflects on his migrant journey 22 years ago when he arrived in the UK from India with little in his pocket and went on to set up a successful fintech business.
“As a fintech entrepreneur, I built a team that challenged the status quo by lowering the cost of moving money for migrant workers and businesses alike. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and opportunity. It’s why I’m standing to become your next Labour MP for Leicester East because I believe there’s a Labour way to grow our economy; one that’s pro-worker and pro-employer too,” states Agrawal.
He lists championing Leicester’s economy, helping residents with the cost-of-living crisis and creating affordable homes among his top priorities.
However, the politician steps into a constituency that has seen many upheavals in recent times, including his controversy-hit predecessors such as Keith Vaz and Claudia Webbe.
While Goan-origin Vaz was forced to step back from Parliament amid a drugs scandal, Webbe stepped down as MP after facing harassment charges in court.
There are some reports that both may be considering contesting from Leicester East as independent candidates.
Meanwhile, the city of Leicester was also the scene of divisive communal clashes in the wake of an India-Pakistan cricket match back in September last year, something which is now being investigated as part of an independent review set up by the UK government earlier this year.