Historic Victory for Malayalees as Sojan Joseph Wins UK Parliament Seat

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In a historic moment for the Malayalee community, local councillor Sojan Joseph has been elected to the UK Parliament. Joseph, a 49-year-old male nurse from India, won the Ashford seat by a majority of 1,779 votes, defeating the long-standing Conservative incumbent Damian Green.

Election Results:

  • Sojan JOSEPH, Labour: 15,262 (Elected)
  • Damian GREEN, Conservatives: 13,483
  • Tristram John KENNEDY HARPER, Reform UK: 10,141
  • Mandy ROSSI, Green: 4,355
  • Adam James ROWLEDGE, Liberal Democrats: 2,445
  • James Gordon RANSLEY, Your Local Consensus Party: 1,289

(Image credit: Ashford District council)

Joseph’s victory marks the first time a Labour candidate has won this traditionally Conservative seat in its 139-year history. The Ashford seat had been held by Green, 68, and a former Prime Minister, for the past 27 years.

Hailing from Kottayam in Kerala, Sojan Joseph’s win has been celebrated in his hometown of Kaipuzha, a village located 10 km north of Kottayam. Joseph moved to London in 2001 after completing his nursing studies in India. He joined the William Harvey Hospital as a mental health nurse in its psychiatry section, the Arundel Unit, and settled in Ashford a year later.

Following his victory, Joseph expressed his commitment to becoming a visible presence in his community and creating a safer, healthier environment for all in Ashford. Currently, he is one of the five directors of NHS Kent and Medway, responsible for planning and purchasing healthcare services for nearly two million people in the region. Joseph credits the socialistic values prevalent in Kerala during the 1980s and 1990s for influencing his political outlook and dedication to serving ordinary working people.

Drawn to the Labour Party’s principles of equality, Joseph joined the party in 2015. He first entered the political arena in 2023, when he was elected as the Labour councillor for Aylesford and East Stour.

Sojan Joseph is married to Brita, also a nurse, and they have three children: Hannah, Sarah, and Matthew. His historic win represents a significant milestone for the Malayalee community and reflects his dedication to public service and community welfare.

Unfortunately, Eric Sukumaran, another Malayalee who aimed to make history, lost his bid for the Southgate and Wood Green seat in London. The Conservative Party candidate was defeated by Labour’s Bambos Charalambous, highlighting the challenging nature of this election cycle for many candidates.