(): Rajesh Agrawal, the Indian-origin Deputy Mayor of London for Business, is stepping down from the role to focus on the city of Leicester, from where he will be contesting to be elected a member of Parliament in the next general election. The 46-year-old Indore-born entrepreneur-politician was recently selected as the Labour Party’s candidate from the constituency of Leicester East for an election expected next year. He announced his departure from the London Mayor’s office on social media on Monday evening after serving two terms in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s team in charge of the UK capital’s business and investment policies.
“After my recent selection as the Labour Party’s parliamentary candidate and careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to step down as Deputy Mayor of London to focus on campaigning in Leicester East,” said Agrawal.
“It has truly been an honour and a privilege to serve Londoners in this capacity for past seven and a half years – and I have given it my all. Like millions of other people, I arrived in this country with very little and made it my home. As I worked just above the minimum wage, I knew that there is a thin line between failure and success,” he said.
“This country gave me the opportunity, and with hard work and perseverance, I did well. But I never imagined that I would get the privilege to serve one of the greatest cities on earth as its Deputy Mayor – not once, but twice.
For that I will be forever grateful,” he added.
He went on to reflect upon his achievements and the “great things” achieved as the city’s Deputy Mayor, including an increase in Londoners receiving higher wages and securing inward investment and creating jobs for the city.
“All this against a backdrop of Brexit, botched trade negotiations, the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. Finally, thanks to all Londoners I could spend some of the most productive years of my life to serve London – the city I love so much,” added Agrawal.
His boss, the British Pakistani Mayor, extended his support for the next chapter in his political journey.
“Rajesh has helped to deliver so much for our city: from a six-fold increase in Londoners receiving the real London Living Wage to the securing of billions of pounds of investment and the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs. Thank you Rajesh – we wish you every success,” said Sadiq Khan in response on X.
On his selection to contest as an MP for Leicester East last week, Agrawal pledged to continue to champion the ideals he was committed to as London’s Deputy Mayor. He has listed championing Leicester’s economy, helping residents with the cost-of-living crisis and creating affordable homes among his top priorities for a constituency that represents one of the largest South Asian origin populations in the UK.