Sunil Chopra, an Indian-origin businessman, was re-elected as mayor of the London Borough of Southwark for the second time.
Chopra, who was born in Delhi, took the oath on Saturday at Southwark Cathedral in Central London’s Montague Close. Chopra was the first Indian-origin person to hold the prestigious office of mayor of the London Borough of Southwark in 2014-2015 and deputy mayor in 2013-2014.
Under Chopra’s leadership, the Labour Party defeated the Liberal Democrats in the London Bridge and West Bermondsey seats. For decades, the opposition party held these seats. This is significant because the London Borough of Southwark Council has only 2% Indian-origin residents.
Chopra first ran for mayor of the London Borough of Southwark in 2010 and was elected for the first time in 2014. He’s also held the position of Deputy Mayor three times. His political career began much earlier, in the 1970s in Delhi.
In 1972, he became the first president of Delhi University’s College of Vocational Studies. He served as Supreme Councillor at Delhi University while pursuing his LL.B. in 1973-74. He later became the president of the NSUI (National Students Union of India) in New Delhi.
Chopra has lived in London for more than four decades and is actively involved in community work in the area. Chopra started a retail enterprise shop in 1979 after moving to the United Kingdom, which grew into a wholesale business of children’s garments and baby products.
He also took advantage of the opportunity to promote Indian culture by hosting cultural events and performing community service. The Southwark Hindu Centre, which serves the local Indian community, was co-founded by him.
Chopra also sees the UK and India strengthening their economic and cultural ties. He is passionate about bringing diverse communities together and wants to promote Southwark both locally and globally.