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Sadiq sets a bench mark

It was inspiring to see transport minister Sadiq Khan sitting next to Gordon Brown at Prime Minister’s Questions this week.

OBV’s Simon Woolley said that Khan’s prominent position in the Commons debate was an intentional signal that the MP for Tooting represented one of the brightest and best politicians in Britain.

Khan, the son of a London bus driver, was only elected in 2005 but is is proving himself to be one of the most accomplished young ministers.

Last week he was named by the London Evening Standard as one of the most influential MPs.

The former human rights lawyer was the first Muslim to reach Cabinet, where he attends in a non-voting capacity, and is only the second MP of colour to sit around the top table.

Woolley said: “Who the Prime Minister has alongside him does not happen by accident. Khan was there as his ‘right hand’ man to demonstrate, not just to the opposition but also to the country, that he represents the best and brightest this country has to offer.

“I’m sure it’s another historical first, one in which will have not gone unnoticed amongst Black men and women throughout the country.”

Paul Boateng was the only other Black MP to be promoted to Cabinet, when he was chief secretary to the Treasury. However, we cannot recall Boateng sitting next to Tony Blair at PMQs.

Khan was promoted soon after getting elected in 2005, and while initially he went through a settling-in period, is now widely regarded as a formidable minister and principled politician who is destined for even greater things.

Two weeks ago, Khan helped launch a new campaign to fight the far right British National Party.

By Lester Holloway

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