Sunderland's first BAME councillor ‘really proud’ to see Rishi Sunak become UK’s first British Asian heritage Prime Minister

Usman Ali, the city’s first black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) councillor, has said he is “really proud” to see Rishi Sunak become the first UK Prime Minister from British Asian heritage.

Councillor Ali has grown up in Sunderland and is also of British Asian heritage, with his family also coming from a Punjabi Indian background – the same as Rishi Sunak’s family.

Last year, Cllr Ali became the first British Asian Sunderland Councillor after being elected as representative for the Ryhope Ward and today (October 25) will see Rishi Sunak officially move into 10 Downing Street.

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Cllr Ali said: “I think this is brilliant for social integration and shows what people from all ethnic backgrounds can achieve. I was really proud to become the first BAME Sunderland councillor and it’s fantastic to see Rishi Sunak become the first Prime Minister from a British Asian background.

"Twenty years ago it was not a great time to be a British Asian man living in the UK but there has been so much progress since then and I feel we are now a very socially tolerant society. I’ve always been a positive person and believed a person of British Asian heritage could become Prime Minister and I’m really proud to see Rishi Sunak has achieved it.”

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As a Conservative councillor and shadow cabinet secretary for Sunderland Conservatives, Cllr Ali also feels Rishi Sunak is the best person for the job, particularly when it comes to tackling the country’s ailing economy.

Cllr Ali said: “Myself and my family have always supported Rishi Sunak who is a very talented individual and the best person to come in and sort this mess out. The financial markets have already reacted positively to his appointment and I’m very confident he will be able to balance the books and make the tough decisions needed to calm everything down.”

Cllr Usman Ali.
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With Rishi Sunak having been voted into number 10 by his own party, there have been calls for a General Election.

However Cllr Ali said: “What we need is a period of stability and all the prospect of another General Election will do is cause more instability to the financial markets. It’s important the public now gets behind Rishi and gives him a chance.”