London, May 13
India-born entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal has been re-appointed as London’s Deputy Mayor for Business by Mayor Sadiq Khan after he won a second term in local elections last week.
As Khan made “jobs, jobs, jobs” a top priority for his next term in office, Agrawal also committed himself to the agenda on Thursday and made a pledge to focus on a “fairer and greener recovery” for the UK capital from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to thank all Londoners for giving a decisive mandate to this administration. Past five years have been hugely challenging for London with uncertainty caused by Brexit and the biggest health, social and economic crisis caused by coronavirus,” said 43-year-old Indore-born Agrawal.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated economic and social inequalities in our society. Young people, women and people from ethnic minorities have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic. As we work towards recovering from this crisis, our top priority is ‘jobs, jobs & jobs’. We want a fairer and greener recovery,” he said.
Agrawal, who is also the co-chair of the Labour Friends of India (LFIN) diaspora representative group of the Opposition Labour Party, arrived in London in 2001 and went on to grow a small foreign exchange and money transfer enterprise into a multi-million-pound UK-headquartered business.
“London is a resilient city. It has overcome huge challenges in the past and it will do so again. Anyone who bets against London will lose their shirt,” added Agrawal, Founder of RationalFX and Xendpay.
For his second term as Mayor of London over the next three years, Khan has committed to working for all Londoners and bridging divides as he unveiled his top team this week reflecting much of the continuity of his first term.
“I look forward to working with them to deliver a better and brighter future for everyone who calls this amazing, diverse city home,” said Khan, the Pakistani-origin Labour politician who became the first Muslim mayor of a European capital back in 2016 when he was first elected.
“I pledge to use this second term to do everything I can to build the bridges that bring us closer together and I will work tirelessly throughout the next three years with my team to deliver for all Londoners,” he said.
On Thursday, Khan announced that GBP 900,000 of City Hall office funding will be invested in a successful police custody programme that supports young adults to stay away from violence alongside the Metropolitan Police.
“I’m concerned that we could see an increase in violence this summer as lockdown measures continue to be eased so I’m not only working with the Met Police to suppress violent activity at a local level, but focusing on prevention programmes that divert Londoners away from violence,” he said. PTI