Liz Truss, Britain’s
former defence secretary, is now the frontrunner in the UK Prime Minister race.
She is significantly ahead of Rishi Sunak, the Indian-origin MP from Yorkshire
who served as the Chancellor of Treasury in the Boris Johnson government. Liz
Truss has taken a lead in the polls and currently awaits the results of the
Conservative vote to be released, which is scheduled to happen Monday.

Truss, 47,
has vowed to deepen ties with India if she becomes Prime Minister. She says she
wants better ties between UK and India on defence, trade and people-to-people.
Speaking of the trade deal between India and UK initiated by the Boris Johnson
government, Truss said, “I want to get this trade deal done, preferably by Diwali,
but definitely by the end of the year.”

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“I want to
make sure that the trade deal is as deep as possible covering everything from
life sciences to technology to agriculture,” Liz Truss said speaking at a
gathering of British Indians at the Conservative Friends of India first

“There is
no doubt in my mind that many of the best and brightest in the world are in
India. I will continue to look at our visa system and make sure it attracts
those people,” said Truss.

As defence
secretary, Liz Truss had pointed out India’s overdependence on Vladimir Putin’s
Russia in context of the Ukraine war. Truss is among several Western leaders
who seek to wean India away from Russia, especially with regard to matters of

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“India is
currently 60% dependent on Russian weapons but obviously they are now concerned
about Russia’s strategic relationship with China and also the efficacy of some
of those weapons, so there is a real opportunity for closer partnership,” she

Boris Johnson,
who will be leaving 10 Downing Street later this week has focussed more on
trade while speaking of India-UK relations. With regard to India, Johnson has
harped more on the world’s largest democracy’s economic potential. “India is an
incredible rising power in Asia, with one of the fastest-growing economies in
the world – already worth GBP 2.25 trillion – and set to be the world’s third-largest
economy by 2050,” Johnson had said. Recently, India replaced UK as the world’s fifth-largest