Afghan refugee who arrived in Britain in a lorry runs for Hounslow council

A conservative candidate running in the Hounslow council elections next May, arrived in the UK in a refrigerated container in the back of a lorry in 1999, escaping the Taliban.   

Darius Nasimi, 22, hopes to turn Hanworth Ward blue after years of Labour leadership.

He would also make history as the first Afghan conservative candidate. 

He said: “I want to get involved in politics because I want to make a positive difference, I want to be a role model for other young people from a similar background that I come from.

“Britain is a place where people from different backgrounds can achieve what they want.  

“We came as refugees and it is thanks to the opportunities in the UK that we managed to build our lives again.”

The Nasimi family’s journey was very dangerous.

Darius, who was just four months old at the time, said they “were very lucky to survive.”

It took them roughly nine months to travel from Afghanistan to Belgium, where people smugglers put them inside a container before crossing the channel from Calais to Dover. 

The Nasimi family in 2006 at their home in New Cross, Lewisham. Credit: Family archive.

Recalling what his parents had told him, Darius said: “We spent nine hours in the container, it was very cold and dark.

“Eventually the UK border agency opened the container in Dover, we were very exhausted, and they gave us some food. 

“We stayed in Dover for one night then they sent us to the refugee council in Brixton and we were given a house in Lewisham, and we started our life there.” 

Darius graduated from Kings College London this year with a degree in Politics and philosophy.

The 22-year-old also founded the Institute of Central Asian Studies society at his university.  

He said: “I got interested in politics when I was 18 and sent an email to some British politicians, both Labour and conservative, telling them that I wanted to become the next mayor of London.

“I got a lot of supportive and positive responses from Conservative politicians.” 

At 18, he was invited for a meeting at Parliament where he met with former Conservative Party leader William Hague, and former Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon. 

Darius explained: “They encouraged me and that was really positive, I think I was really lucky to have met with them. 

“I love the Conservative Party because of their focus on business, innovation and creativity and their values of individual liberties, working hard and improving your situation to pursue your goals.”

If his bid for councillor of Hanworth ward is a success in May 2022, he plans on getting to know the community, making himself approachable and known to residents, and working hard to tackles issues head on.  

Darius Nasimi hopes to become a Hounslow councillor for Hanworth ward.
Credit: Member of Hounslow Rotary Club

Darius said: “I want to focus on some of the challenges local people are facing like housing, pavements, roads with potholes, access to local services, parks, and leisure centres.

“I want to help improve the opportunities for young people to build skills, and for the area to become more prosperous.

“For me winning this election is a chance for me to make a difference to people’s lives, to improve their quality of life and it would be a sense of being in a position to help, support and empower people, and to provide the right leadership for the local residents in Hanworth.” 

He hopes for better representation of people with an Afghan background in British politics, and believes that his own personal experiences would make him a good candidate for Hanworth. 

Darius added: “People who come from a migrant or refugee background, the best Party for us is the Conservative Party because it pushes you to get involved in big businesses.

“I’m not a millionaire, I’m not a businessman I want to challenge the stereotype that the Conservative Party is only for a certain group in society, for the rich or certain ethnic groups, I think all people from any background can get involved”.   

Featured image credit: Sheekeba Nasimi

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Neil Maitland Walker
Neil Maitland Walker
20 December 2021 4:27 pm

I’m delighted in the obvious success Darius is making of his life and opportunities available in this Country and wish him and his family all success

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