Tooting MP Sadiq Khan has written an article for the April edition of Total Politics on what being British means to him.
“Growing up in South London I was pretty comfortable in my own skin, developing a clear sense of who I was. With my friends and interests, I knew my limitations and my boundaries. Being the middle child in a large family gave me a sense of security, knowing where I was in my family’s pecking order with protection and warmth surrounded by my seven siblings.
“But I was also aware that my sense of identity was complicated, which is hardly surprising given my family background. I’m British, English, a South Londoner and a Muslim of Pakistani–Asian heritage. Later in life I became a husband, father, political activist and community leader. It’s like an onion – peeling back layers of identities to reveal a different identity.
“I’m convinced this multi-layered identity is a positive attribute, as I’m equipped to adapt and behave according to my surroundings, without compromising who I am, what I stand for, or where I come from. My multi-faceted makeup is drawn from my family’s background in Pakistan, my religion, growing up in diverse London, and further shaped during the formative, socially and politically polarised 1980s. For me, Britishness is complex, a sense shared by other immigrants, or children of immigrants, but also by those who’ve lived here for generations. And this complexity is a key strength – we share a history rich in ideas, in culture and in principles.”
You can read the full article online here.
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