Indian-born businessman Sunil Chopra has been elected mayor of the London Borough of Southwark for the second time. Delhi-born Chopra was sworn in at Southwark Cathedral, Montague Close in central London on Saturday. Chopra served as Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark in 2014-15 and Deputy Mayor in 2013-14, the first person of Indian descent to hold the post in the Borough.
Britain’s Labor Party won victory over the Liberal Democrats in the London Bridge and West Bermondsey seats under Chopra’s leadership. These seats have been occupied by the opposition party for decades. This victory is important because the London Borough of Southwark Council has only 2% inhabitants of Indian origin. Chopra entered British politics in 2010 and was elected Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark for the first time in 2014. He has also served as Deputy Mayor three times. His political journey began long before that in the 1970s in Delhi.
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He became the first president of the College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi in 1972. While pursuing his undergraduate studies. in 1973-74, he served as Supreme Counselor at the University of Delhi. Later, he also became the President of the National Student Union of India (NSUI) for New Delhi. Chopra has lived in London for over four decades and is actively involved in local community work. In 1979, after moving to the UK, Chopra opened a retail store which became a wholesale business for children’s clothing and baby products.
At the same time, he took the opportunity to promote Indian culture by organizing cultural events and community work. He co-founded an organization, the Southwark Hindu Centre, for the Indian community in the area. Chopra also envisions strengthening economic and cultural ties between the UK and India. He is keen to promote Southwark locally and globally, and is passionate about bringing diverse communities together.