PAUL UPPAL, MP of Wolverhampton South West is a man of few words. From a young age, Paul Uppal wanted to become a Conservative MP because from his family experience, he realised that politics mattered. Politics mattered to his family as they lost a substantial electrical business in Kenya and were grateful to the UK for the refuge, security and opportunities that were provided by this great country. Born in Smethwick in a terraced house that was shared by not only his family but his uncle’s family as well, he spent his childhood in the working class area of Birmingham and attended both a state primary school and comprehensive state secondary school. Under the guidance of one of his teachers he was encouraged to fulfil his academic ambitions and went on to study politics at Warwick University. Before entering Parliament, Paul ran his own business, and in his time has been his own builder, secretary, accountant, lawyer and cleaner. He says, “don’t ask anybody to do something for you, if you’re not prepared to do it yourself.” Paul wanted to be an MP because he believes in Britain, and wants to be part of the solution in working to preserve Britain’s great institutions. He stood for Parliament in Birmingham Yardley in the 2005 elections and then won a seat to represent Wolverhampton South West in 2010.
Paul has been married to Kashmir for 22 years and they have three children, Cameron, 16; Anisha, 14; and Zara, 6. Paul is an avid sports fan and follows football and cricket, but feels that the most important thing in his life is spending time with his family.
Which issues are closest to your heart?
I am passionate about Education, Foreign Affairs and Economics; issues which I help the Conservatives with when forming their 2015 manifesto.
What are you most proud of?
I am proud there is a Free School in Wolverhampton: Anand Primary. A high standard of education should be available for all, for free.
What do you dislike most about being an MP?
Being an MP can be very time consuming; I have a family and sometimes I do not spend as much time with them as I would like to.
How can Britain build on its relationship with India?
I believe we need to be more honest with each other. We must stress our common ground rather than that which divides us.
What are the three things that need to be done to encourage people of Indian origin into British politics?
A recognition that British politics is open to all regardless of race, colour or creed.
What advice would you give to a young person wanting to pursue a career in politics?
I think it is important to gain experience elsewhere and thus to go into politics for the right reasons rather advancing one’s career.
What do you think is the biggest global challenge that we face this century?
Global race and international security.
If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
Cure for cancer, good health and success for my family and friends.
What are some of your desert island discs?
Having been brought up in the 80s I loved The The’s album “Soul Mining”.
Do you watch House of Cards? If so, is politics anything like its depicted in the show?
I can assure you it is a lot worse than that! No, to be serious: a lot of people come into politics for the right reasons.
If you could be in anyone’s shoes for a week, who would it be and why?
Usain Bolt, it would save so much time.
Describe David Cameron in three words…
Modern, Approachable, Inclusive