What does a Labor Party win mean for India?

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After 14 years, Labor leader Keir Starmer is set to replace Rishi Sink as UK prime minister, ousting the incumbent Conservatives.

Starmer, a human rights barrister turned leader of the Labor Party, has been credited with turning around the party's fortunes in the 2019 general election and has come close to forming a government in the 2019 general election. “Britain gets its future back,” Starmer said in his victory speech.

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During his election campaign, Starmer had hinted at developing ties with India and emphasized the importance of building a proper relationship. Starmer's manifesto included a pledge to pursue a “new strategic” partnership with India and hinted at a free trade agreement (FTA). He also made a determined effort to woo the growing Hindu electorate in the country with visits to various temples. The approach was a marked change from the party's stance under former leader Jeremy Corbyn.

What does Starmer's win mean for India?

Starmer is outlining his vision for a stronger UK-India relationship spanning trade, technology, the environment and security operations.

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These gestures are intended to promote greater trust and inclusion within British-Indian communities as these demographics are key to Labour's electoral calculus.

Setting the tone for the party's India-UK outlook at the India Global Forum (IGF) last year, Starmer declared, “I have a clear message for you all today: this is a changed Labor Party. “What my Labor government will look for is a relationship based on our shared values ​​of democracy and ambition,” Starmer said.

A Labor win with Starmer could see a tougher crackdown on anti-Hindu hate crimes in the UK. While visiting the Sri Swaminarayan Temple in Kingsbury last week, Starmer said there was “absolutely no place for Hinduphobia in Britain”.

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Admitting past mistakes, particularly the party's perceived stance on the Kashmir dispute, Starmer has pledged to stamp out any extremist views that could strain Britain-India relations. are

Party chair Annelise Dodds announced that Labor had “purged its ranks of any members who hold extremist views” and invited Indians to report any instances of anti-Indian sentiment, prompt action. promise to

The Labor Party also promised to push ahead with the long-pending Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with India if it wins the election. Starmer has been a vocal critic of the delay in signing the FTA under the Tories.

Indeed, he said the Labor Party wanted to expand the FTA to include other areas of cooperation such as new technology, environment and security.

The Labor Party is also expected to push hard on visa negotiations.

The government could also look at immigration, one of the most contentious topics in British politics. With bipartisan consensus on the need to reduce immigration, negotiations on temporary visas for Indian workers in the UK service industry could present a challenge for Labour.

How did Starmer try to attract Indian immigrants?

In the run-up to the election, Starmer did not shy away from acknowledging his party's past actions towards India, particularly the party's gesture of supporting Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

Starmer has promised to ensure that his party does not indulge any “anti-India” sentiments. The party's chair, Anneliese Dodds, claimed that the Labor Party had purged its ranks of any members with “extremist views” about India. Starmer recognized the growing importance of Britain's Indian-origin population and their growing power. He also invited Indians to report any anti-India sentiments within his party. Starmer also promised to take immediate action to address such issues.

The Labor Party fielded many candidates of Indian origin in the 2024 elections.

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