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UK envoy Alex Ellis after Rishi Sunak becomes new PM


“The election of Britain’s first Hindu prime minister is a historic moment,” said Alex Ellis.

New Delhi:

The British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, has called the appointment of the UK’s first Hindu prime minister, Rishi Sunak, a “historic moment”.

“The election of Britain’s first Hindu prime minister is a historic moment,” said Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India, in Hindi.

Envoy Ellis said on Tuesday that Rishi Sunak becoming Britain’s prime minister is a sign of a “different UK than it is today” compared to the country he grew up in. He said bilateral relations have deepened and grown very rapidly since the UK left the European Union.

“It’s a great day for the UK. We have a new Prime Minister. This Prime Minister is young. His grandparents came from India, his parents from East Africa and he is Hindu. It’s a sign of the different UK that there is today compared to the country I grew up in. So it’s quite a different country and it’s a great day to mark that.” , said Alex Ellis in an exclusive interview with ANI.

“Relations between the UK and India have deepened and grown very rapidly since we left the European Union. This was the course set by Prime Minister Johnson with Prime Minister Modi across the comprehensive strategic partnership followed by Liz Truss and we will see what happens as we expect this government to follow the same path as well,” he added.

Ellis said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made it clear the economy was going to be a top priority when he stood on the steps of Downing Street on Tuesday. He said the economy is growing in various ways, including through trade and investment. “India is a big investor in the UK, and the UK is a big investor in India. We want to double trade by 2030.”

“A free trade agreement (FTA) is a great way to do that. It’s a long road to get to a free trade agreement. We went through the foothills, up the valley and arrived at base camp and now we have to make this short and quick climb. I think both countries are determined to reach the top,” the High Commissioner said.

“It takes two to tango. Negotiations have been difficult for less than a year. It’s a short time for free trade agreements, but there is a price inside which is the strengthening of jobs and growth in both countries. I think that’s what the two prime ministers would like to achieve,” he added.

India and the UK were keen to conclude the FTA by Diwali and negotiations are continuing between the two countries. Rishi Sunak became Britain’s first Indian-born Prime Minister on Tuesday after being asked by King Charles III to form a government. Sunak met the king at Buckingham Palace.

In his first speech as UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street, Rishi Sunak said he would put economic stability and confidence at the heart of his government’s agenda. “It will mean tough decisions ahead,” Rishi Sunak said.

Speaking of her predecessor Liz Truss, who resigned after serving for 45 days, Rishi Sunak said: “She was not wrong to improve growth in the country. It is a noble goal. But some mistakes were committed, not due to bad will or bad intention, but mistakes all the same.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed Rishi Sunak after his election as leader of the Conservative Party and next British Prime Minister.

“Warmest congratulations @RishiSunak! As you become UK Prime Minister, I look forward to working closely together on global issues and implementing the 2030 roadmap. From special Diwali greetings to the ‘living bridge’ Indians of the UK, as we transform our historic ties into a modern partnership,” Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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