Tories select British Indian to contest London byelection

By Prasun Sonwalkar, IANS

London : Tony Lit, the son of prominent Indian-origin entrepreneur and owner of Sunrise Radio Avtar Lit, has been selected by the Conservative party as its candidate for the forthcoming by-election to the Ealing Southall constituency in London.

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Lit's selection is part of Conservative leader David Cameron's efforts to increase the number of candidates from ethnic minorities.

Speaking during a visit to Southall, Cameron said: "I am delighted that we have selected Tony Lit, he is an outstanding candidate. Having worked in Southall for nearly a decade he really does understand and represent the needs of the local community."

Lit, 34, a managing director of Sunrise Radio, said: "I'm delighted to be the Conservative Party candidate for Ealing Southall. Under David Cameron's leadership this is a party that recognises people from all backgrounds.

"I look forward to working hard for the people of Ealing and Southall, a community I have served for 10 years as a local business leader and volunteer on Southall regeneration projects."

Jason Stacey, Leader of Ealing Borough council, said: "Tony is a great local candidate, known in both Ealing and Southall. He will be a real asset as an MP, standing up for the local community."

From his first managerial position as a department manager at the clothing retail chair Next in 1989, Lit gained considerable experience in the retail industry before being appointed as Commercial Director of Sunrise Radio in 1998.

In 2003, he was appointed managing director of Sunrise Radio – Britain's first 24-hour Asian radio station and now one of the most successful commercial radio stations in the country.

Lit is also the director of the popular Asian Lifestyle Show – an annual exhibition of Asian culture and entertainment.

As a director of the not-for-profit Heathrow City Partnership Limited (formerly Southall Regeneration Partnership), Lit is heavily involved in efforts to regenerate and improve prosperity in under-performing parts of West London .

In January 2005, Lit was one of four Asian business leaders appointed to be an ambassador for London's successful 2012 bid for the Olympic Games.

Lit delivered the keynote address in 2002 at the Swami Naryan Mandir, Neasden, in the presence Prince of Wales, and presented a cheque for £300,000 for the Gujarat Earthquake Appeal. The funds were raised by Sunrise Radio.

He was also the keynote speaker at the London Indian Conference held at City Hall on 1st September 2004.