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World News

Better to have a person of faith as PM than an atheist says Christian MP

by Donna Birrell

The appointment of Rishi Sunak as Britain's first Prime Minister of British Asian heritage has been hailed as a "ground-breaking milestone" by the US President Joe Biden among others. 

Mr Sunak's parents are of Punjabi descent and he is himself a practising Hindu.

Speaking to Premier Christian Conservative MP for South West Devon Sir Gary Streeter says that Mr Sunak's faith is among many qualities that will stand the new PM in good stead.

"We are a country which has welcomed people from all over the world throughout our entire history. The genius of this country is being able to blend those various cultures together. Not that people should lose their distinctive culture, but to still remain and retain and improve our national identity. 

"So I think a Hindu, someone from a British Asian background, becoming our top person is a great signal of how modern this country is and how we're ready to embrace a new world. Some Christians say to me, 'well, how can we have a Hindu as our Prime Minister?' and I say that I'd like to have a person of faith and values in that job surrounded by other Christians  than someone who's a profound atheist, because that's a completely different worldview. A person of faith and values as far as I'm concerned is exactly what we want - and it's exactly what we've got."

Sir Gary said he's hopeful Rishi Sunak has the qualities that can bring stability to the country.

"I think there's a profound sense of relief in many of our hearts today. Quite a few of us here really believe in Rishi Sunak as a very special person and I'm thrilled that he's now the Prime Minister. I believe he will do a fantastic job in delivering competent government, which we haven't seen for at least 12 months.

"To be Prime Minister you have to have three or four outstanding qualities and Rishi is that special person. We want competence, but I think there'll be a clear vision and there'll be an attempt to bring the party together.

"He's got amazing intelligence and is always the smartest man in the room. He's a really kind person, he has tremendous values of decency and he looks after people. He has a vision and is a very good communicator. Yesterday he gave the best leader's speech to the 1922 committee that I've ever witnessed. It was very special, we all went out very inspired, and quite a few people quite emotionally moved."

Opposition politicians are repeating demands for a general election, insisting the new Prime Minister has no mandate from the people. Sir Gary said that won't happen now for some time.

"I think we're going to see some months of excellent government and then the people in this country can make a choice about whether we carry on or His Majesty's excellent opposition take over and that's up to the people of this country."


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