Two Indian-origin candidates join race for London Mayor

Lucknow-born businesswoman Ruby McGregor-Smith joins the race alongside British Sikh politician Kulveer Ranger.

Two Indian-origin individuals are among 10 shortlisted by Britain’s ruling Conservative party as prospective candidates to run for London mayor in 2020 against Labour’s Pakistan-origin Sadiq Khan. Lucknow-born businesswoman Ruby McGregor-Smith joins the race alongside British Sikh politician Kulveer Ranger, both of whom will go head to head with the others at hustings next month before a vote on the final candidate by October.

“It’s time for a Mayor who will re-ignite the possibility, opportunity and the confidence of the greatest city on earth. That’s why I’m running to be London’s Mayor,” McGregor said in reference to her bid on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old peer in the House of Lords made history as the first Indian-origin woman to run an FTSE-250 company, Mitie Group, nearly a decade ago. She was awarded a Commander of British Empire (CBE) honor by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 for services to business and promoting diversity.

“Our wonderful capital and our great country have given me everything and now I want to repay that debt,” she said. She will compete with Ranger, a former transport adviser in the London Mayor’s office, who also made the Tory shortlist for the mayoral race held every four years.

“I was born here, grew up, studied, have worked in and for London. I am proud and humbled to be part of this list,” he said.

The Tories said all 10 people on the shortlist came “from a wide range of backgrounds, including business, politics and the charity sector”. At the last mayoral elections in May 2016, Labour’s Khan defeated the Conservative party candidate Zac Goldsmith, brother of Jemima Khan – the ex-wife of Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.

The Green Party’s Sian Berry was third in the 2016 race and Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon came fourth. Boris Johnson, who recently resigned as UK foreign secretary, was the last Conservative Mayor of London, following election victories in 2008 and 2012.