The standard European line on Britain after Brexit – ‘the British are an inward-looking bunch of racists.’ Err…really?

New British prime minister Rishi Sunak is a Hindu of East African parentage. Sunak’s home minister is an Indian Buddhist; the foreign minister, an agnostic, has a Sierra Leoneon mother; his deputy prime minister is of Eastern European Jewish origin; the Chairman of the Conservative Party is an Iraqi born Kurd; his business secretary is a Jew; his trade minister is a Catholic of Nigerian origin; his housing minister is a Scottish orphan; his Arabic speaking security minister has English and French nationality.

Nevertheless, there are some racial minorities in Britain’s new government. Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is white. This may be forgivable because he is married to a Japanese. But for defence minister Ben Wallace, the former army officer there is no such excuse; shockingly he is not only white, but he is married to a white woman – albeit Scottish. But I guess there is room for one pure whitey in a British Conservative Party cabinet!

The racial diversity of today’s British governments, and particularly that of Rishi Sunak’s, is a problem for lefties. Historically the Labour Party has always disparaged the Conservative Party for being racist or the ‘Anglican-Church-at-prayer’. That changed when the underrated former prime minister David Cameron brought Britain’s immigrant minorities into the conservative party. Now immigrants are not only in parliament but also dominating its politics.

Labour, the self-appointed party of diversity, which has never had a woman leader let alone an immigrant cabinet minister, now has two lines of attack. The first is that Sunak is not truly Asian because he is a conservative; the second is that he is not truly Asian because he is rich. Sometimes the two are combined. An Asian Labour MP recently declared that Sunak is ‘not a win for Asian representation’ because he is a multi-millionaire.

There is now a relentless Labour Party attack on Rishi Sunak’s wealth which, combined with his wife’s fortune, comes to about €850m. Thus, the left-wing Daily Mirror questioned whether his wealth would prevent him having ‘understanding and empathy with ordinary people.’ Sky News asked Sunak whether he was too rich to be prime minister.

But as Sunak is at pains to point out, he came from humble origins, living above his parents’ pharmacy. His wife too may be fabulously wealthy but when she was born in Hubli, Karnataka, in 1980, her father, Narayana Murthy, did not even have a telephone.

Despite making a $4.6bn fortune starting Infosys, a global technology business with 300,000 employees in 50 countries, Murthy’s family lived an austere life. As a lesson in humility to his children he made a point of cleaning his own toilet daily. At home he washes dishes and drives small car. A former colleague who knows Murthy describes him as ‘corporate India’s Mahatma Gandhi.’

The Sunaks, like their respective parents, may be rich, but they are not bling. They live relatively modestly with their two daughters in a northern English constituency which is famously dismissive of ‘flash Harrys’. Even local opposition leaders admit they are popular. Indeed, they represent the best that immigration has brought to Britain. The Sunaks’ conservative values of aspiration, hard work, thrift, and family are a splendid relief after the rackety Boris Johnson and the madcap ‘human hand grenade’, Liz ‘the lettuce’ Truss.

Added to these values Sunak is a supremely intelligent man who underwent a legendary gruelling training at Goldman Sachs. He will run a slide-rule over British government spending as the looming global recession puts a hole in government finances. By reputation he is hard working, precise and analytical. He is quietly spoken, articulate, with an open and honest demeanour.

I am thoroughly proud that an Asian from immigrant stock, like Rishi Sunak, is my country’s prime minister.