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Wales to get first Old Etonian MP in nearly 60 years

05 Jul 2024 2 minute read
Labour’s Kanishka Narayan

Martin Shipton

Labour’s Kanishka Narayan seems destined to become the first Old Etonian to represent a Welsh seat since 1966, when former Tory Chancellor Peter Thorneycroft was defeated in Monmouth, which he had represented since 1945.

Ironically Mr Narayan is expected to defeat the son of a steelworker, former Conservative Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, who has been projected to lose the Vale of Glamorgan where he has been the MP since 2010.

Rising stars

In February The Times named Mr Narayan as one of five rising stars of what was assumed to be Labour’s 2024 intake. He was described as “the Old Etonian scholarship boy and civil servant in the Vale of Glamorgan”.

The other four were Zubir Ahmed, a consultant cardiologist from Glasgow; Lucy Rigby, a City solicitor in Northampton; Kirsty McNeill, a charity executive and adviser to Gordon Brown in Midlothian; and Hamish Falconer, son of the New Labour grandee Charlie and a Foreign Office diplomat in Lincoln.

All five went on a study trip to the United States accompanied by minders from Labour HQ and the Blairite ginger group Progressive Britain. They went to see what they might learn about winning elections and running governments from President Biden — from inside the beltway of Washington DC to the Bible belt of Kentucky.

White House

The Times report said: “The Progressive Policy Institute, favoured think tank of the White House, put them in front of members of Congress. These influential Democrats and MPs-to-be discussed infrastructure investment, housing and childcare.

“But looming over every round-table chat was an inconvenient truth. If the polls and presidential primaries are to be believed, Donald Trump is returning to the White House. Bidenomics may have delivered $1 trillion in subsidies for industry in swing states, hundreds of thousands of new jobs and 3.3 per cent GDP growth but it won’t deliver its namesake a second term.”

Mr Narayan’s LinkedIn profile lists five volunteering experiences, including a five-year period from 2016 to 2021 when he advised a number of Labour Shadow Ministers on economic policy, national security and investment and public service reform.

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2 days ago

This article makes Alun Cairns sound like the salt of the Earth and Kanishka sound like a snob. His parents came from Bihar, the poorest Indian state, when he was 12 – they worked in what would be classed as working-class jobs, and he went to Eton on a full grant.

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