First-ever Afghan Conservative candidate wins

Shefali Saxena Thursday 12th May 2022 04:04 EDT

Darius Nasimi came to the UK in a refrigerated container when he was only four months old with his family in 1999. Darius graduated in Philosophy and Politics from King’s College London where he also founded the KCL Institute for Central Asian Studies to provide a platform for Central Asia to be discussed and the challenges addressed. Darius is responsible for fundraising at Afghanistan and Central Asian Association and his recent success has been increasing the charity's income to £1 million in the last year. Darius is also a member of the Counter-Terrorism Advisory Group and was previously a Trustee of the Heathrow Communities Trust. 

Darius has strong experience working on a grassroots level with the Afghan, refugee and Muslim communities in London. He has worked with think tanks such as Quilliam Foundation, Chatham House and Institute for Strategic Dialogue, Prevent departments at London councils and university academics at Royal Holloway University. Recently, Darius has been working on fundraising at the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association for the past two years and has succeeded in increasing the charity's income from £400,000 two years ago to nearly £1 million this year.

More recently, he has led the charity's response to the Afghan crisis and has been responsible for liaising with the British Media, and Home Office and distributing 4 40ft containers of donations to the Afghan refugees in the bridging hotels after the UK government evacuated 15,000 people from Afghanistan in August. Darius has strong experience in project management and community engagement, organising conferences and events, strategic communications and running counter-extremism workshops for young refugees and unaccompanied minors. He has been selected as a candidate for the local elections next year and is the first Afghan candidate to fight for Public Office in the UK

Speaking exclusively to Asian Voice, Mr Nasimi said, “It is a big victory for the Afghan community in the UK, as I am the first British Afghan Conservative Candidate in the UK. I got 1373 votes and lost by 41 votes to Labour. In the past, no Conservative candidate got even close to even 900 votes and the difference was always between 500-600 votes. We won in a Labour area for the first time in decades, despite Conservatives losing in areas like Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet. The Local elections were shaped by the national mood. For us to have gained so many more votes for the Conservatives when many have used this election as a protest vote to signal to the central government that they are unhappy with the cost of living, fuel prices and party game. The election turnout was very low, only 31%. We, the local Conservative candidates got caught in the crosshairs.”

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