Labour seeks deeper UK-India cooperation  


Rayner called for ensuring women in senior leadership positions and also in senior business positions. “I know India has done a huge amount (in that direction), women have got Ph.Ds…reports Asian Lite News

India being on course to become the third largest economy in the world shows the progress it has made and a part of that is due to the policies that the Indian government has introduced around recognising women’s role, the UK’s shadow deputy prime minister Angela Rayner has said.

Rayner, the deputy leader of the opposition in the UK and a senior leader of the Labour Party, said she wants the UK and India to build on history, and see the trade agreement go forward.

Rayner said, “I first visited (India) in 2007 and to see the transformation that has happened and to see India on course to be the third largest economy, it just shows how amazing India has done and the progress that has been made.” “Part of that is about the policies that the government has introduced around recognising women’s role and not just in terms of women’s role in society but how crucial it is for the economy. If you want to grow in economy, then having women in empowerment is crucial to that,” she said.

Asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on women-led development and how women can be promoted in leadership positions, Rayner said the challenge is that one not only has to look at society and encourage women to come forward but also what is important is legislation and making sure that people have laws that can protect them in being part of the workplace, society and in key positions of power.

“We have been doing that in the UK and we have got laws that protect women, empower women, but we also have to make sure that we have enforcement of that and it means bringing women from all social and economic backgrounds. I come from a poor background in the UK and often there is a dual discrimination,” she said.

“If you are from a poor background, it makes it harder for you… So, I think you have to make sure that all women are engaged in education and in opportunities to come forward into leadership roles,” Rayner said.

Rayner called for ensuring women in senior leadership positions and also in senior business positions. “I know India has done a huge amount (in that direction), women have got Ph.Ds. It is important that women are seen in all aspects of our economy,” she asserted.

On the Labour Party’s vision on UK-India ties going forward, Rayner said, “I want us to build on history. I want to see the trade agreement go forward so that we can build that cooperation and work together so that both India and the UK can prosper and continue to grow their economies, and to make sure that everybody can see the benefit of that growth together.” Rayner also hailed the Indian diaspora’s contribution to the UK, saying it is “incredibly important” and it contributes to the economy.

“They employ over 1,00,000 people in the UK. We have got very close ties. The Labour Party is a changed party and we want to see that cooperation deepen with India and to celebrate the diaspora that has come to the UK and contributed to society culturally and to our economy,” she said.

Asked about the elections and the Labour Party’s prospects, Rayner said she hopes people can see the Labour Party is a changed party under Keir Starmer’s leadership.

“We go into the general election not complacent but hopefully people can see we have put in a programme of government together that will give prosperity to the UK and will help people with living standards, will give people opportunity and good education and secure jobs for the future,” she asserted.

Elections are likely to take place in the UK this year with many political analysts predicting that the Labour Party may have a good showing at the hustings. The next election must be held by January 28, 2025.

Asked about India’s role in an unstable world which is seeing conflicts arise every now and then, Rayner said, “We all have an obligation globally to work together to bring about peace and to ensure that we learn the lessons of the past and we try to bring people together so that we can see peaceful resolution to the conflicts that we see happening globally.” She stressed on the UK working with its partners and allies to ensure that people can feel safe no matter where they are in the world and are given opportunities.

“We should do that together. India has a key role to play in that and we should work together to make sure we bring about that peace,” Rayner asserted.

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