Sandip Verma, the Asian businesswoman, is seen as the symbol of Britain's multicultural set up. The 44-year-old has been selected by the Conservative Association in Wolverhampton South West as its candidate for the next general elections.
She belongs to an Indian business family. Her grandfather came to Britain in the late 1930s from Punjab, India. In 1952 he was amongst the first British Asians to start their own business in the textiles sector in the East Midlands.
Sandip came to Britain from Amritsar with her parents when she was less than a year old in 1960. She was educated locally, and currently due to her selection as a Conservative candidate for elections she deferred her degree in Business Management so she can campaign full time in her constituency.
She has remained actively involved with business and community organisations. In her varying roles she has raised the profile on issues affecting women, asylum seekers, people from low income families and ethnic minority groups as well as the difficulties facing small businesses.
The feeling that politics had become too far removed from the people made Sandip enter politics and become a candidate for the Tory Party. She did not involve herself in local politics before coming on to the national stage. "I've come straight to the national league, as I call it, simply because I made a very clear decision that at the age of 40 I was going to come in actively to politics," she said in an interview with The Guardian.
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Before this, her first foray into politics, she owned a fashion business. She came from the Punjab to Leicester as a baby. She is now married and has grown up children. She has been involved in the business sector since the age of 19 and currently has a business in the care sector.
The other side
"Verma...finds herself the poster girl for Britain's multicultural success story, and a walking two-fingers to the more inglorious sections of her party's past."
: "The first generation of British Asians laid the groundwork for us to be more ambitious. But I don't know if I bring anything distinctively 'Asian' to my career, I'm just me."
"I want to be an excellent constituency MP, and rise up through the ranks."