Cameron hopes for Asian PM one day


Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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David Cameron said he hopes one day a British-Asian Prime Minister will take the keys of Number 10 as he congratulated his Culture Secretary Sajid Javid on being named the most influential Asian in the UK.

But the Prime Minister looked to Mr Javid, who has been tipped for future leadership by some, and joked “just not immediately”.

He said he was “incredibly proud” that the Cabinet Minister, the first Asian male Conservative in such a position , took the accolade at the GG2 Leadership Awards which celebrated Asian achievements last night.

Mr Javid was promoted to Culture, Media and Sport Secretary in April after a rapid rise through the ranks of the party.

He came top of the power list of 101 Asians ahead of teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai, fellow MPs and One Direction singer Zayn Malik.

In a speech to guests at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in central London Mr Cameron said: “I am incredibly proud that number one on your power list is Saijd Javid, the brilliant Asian man that I asked to join the Cabinet.

“And I know we have more to do to encourage true opportunity and diversity in our country but doesn’t it say something about our country that in two generations you go from coming to our country with so little to sitting round a Cabinet table – that’s the sort of country we’re building in the United Kingdom.

“In Britain today there are still too few people from ethnic minorities in top positions, as has just been said the absence is glaring in the boardrooms of FTSE 250, in the chambers of the Houses of Parliament, on football managers’ benches, on high court judges’ benches and in our fighter jets, our naval ships and our armed battalions around the world.

“And I’m clear that this has to change.”

He added: “When I hear those terms Your Honour, Brigadier General, Right Honourable, more often I want to hear it followed by a British-Asian name.

“And yes, one day I want to hear that title Prime Minister, followed by a British-Asian name – just not immediately if that’s OK by you.”

Mr Javid, a father-of-four, whose father Abdul arrived in Britain in 1961 from Pakistan with just £1 in his pocket, turned to politics to ”give something back” after reportedly earning more than £20 million during a high-flying career at Deutsche Bank.

Judges of the Power List, compiled by the Asian Media and Marketing Group, said the Bromsgrove MP earned the title for being the only Asian voice at the heart of the Government’s senior decision-making process and his commitment to “opening the cultural doors for all Britons in the UK”.

He pushed 17-year-old Malala, who became the youngest ever Nobel prize winner last month for her work championing global education rights for girls, in to second place after she took the number one spot last year.

The annual power list, now in its fourth year, named Labour MPs Keith Vaz and Sadiq Khan at number three and seven respectively and Tory MPs Priti Patel and Shilesh Vara at numbers six and nine.

One Direction singer Zayn Malik, recognisable to millions of young music fans across the world, made it to number 10.

The list features 19 women, including BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty and BBC Radio One presenter Jameela Jamil as well as the directer of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti.

Newcomers to the list included England cricketer Moeen Ali at number 28 and 2014 Great British Bake Off semi-finalist Chetan Makan at number 81.

As well as celebrating the annual power list, the ceremony praised the leadership of a number of successful campaigners and businessmen and women.

Mr Cameron presented the Woman of the Year award to Dame Asha Khemka, chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College Group, and Man of the Year to Dr Rami Ranger, founder of supermarket distributor Sun Mark Group.

Kalpesh Solanki, managing editor of the Power List, said: “The GG2 Leadership Awards recognise and celebrate achievement of exceptional individuals who have excelled and broken through barriers.

“Their triumph through adversity makes them remarkable people who deserve to be recognised.”

Published: Thursday 6th November 2014 by The News Editor

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