London: Indian-origin Labour MP Nadia Whittome has deleted a tweet, which she posted earlier this week saying Rishi Sunak becoming Prime Minister “isn’t a win for Asian representation”.
Whittome was “instructed” to remove her tweet, a spokesman for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer confirmed, after it drew backlash on social media, the BBC reported.
“Rishi Sunak as prime minister isn’t a win for Asian representation,” Whittome wrote in the tweet, which now stands deleted.
“He’s a multi-millionaire who, as chancellor, cut taxes on bank profits while overseeing the biggest drop in living standards since 1956. Black, white or Asian: if you work for a living, he is not on your side,” she added.
Sunak, the UK’s first Asian Prime Minister, and his wife Akshata Murty’s combined fortune is estimated to be 730 million pounds, double the estimated 300 million-350 million pounds wealth of King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort.
They own four properties spread across the world and valued at more than 15 million pounds, The Guardian reported.
Whittome’s Punjabi Sikh father emigrated to the UK from Banga, Punjab at the age of 21. Her mother is an Anglo-Indian Catholic solicitor and former member of the Labour Party.
In a statement to BBC, Whittome’s office said: “Like Rishi Sunak, Ms Whittome is second-generation British Indian.
“Ms Whittome was pointing to Rishi Sunak’s record as chancellor to demonstrate that effective political representation of British Asian communities — and the interests of all working people — is about far more than the ethnicity of the prime minister.”
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, meanwhile, “welcomed” the appointment of Sunak as “the first British Asian Prime Minister”, describing it as a “real milestone for our country”.
But on being pressed by the Sky News on Wednesday to comment on the issue, he said: “The position of the Labour party is the position that I have set out. the whole Labour Party supports that, and we’re very, very pleased to do that”.
Whittome, a staunch critic of Sunak, had earlier tweeted: “Rishi Sunak and his wife sit on a fortune of 730,000,000 pounds. That’s around twice the estimated wealth of King Charles III. Remember this whenever he talks about making ‘tough decisions’ that working class people will pay for.”
She was elected in 2019 at the age of 23 as a member of the Labour party, and became the “Baby of the House” as the youngest MP.
Before her election, she was a hate crime worker, and prior to that a care worker while studying law at the University of Nottingham.