Dr Onkar Sahota AM was elected as the member of the London Assembly for Ealing and Hillingdon in May 2012. Defeating the three term incumbent and statutory Deputy Mayor of London, Onkar’s victory was a major upset generating national and international news.
Arriving with his family in 1961, Onkar’s family first lived in Hayes in the London Borough of Hillingdon. Originally from the Punjab, India, his parent settled in the UK in order to provide a better future for their children as with hundreds of other families of that generation.
His father first worked for British Airways at Heathrow as a maintenance worker, eventually establishing a local grocery business. His early experiences have instilled Onkar with a passion for ensuring opportunities for others to succeed, as well as the value of aspiration.
A practicing GP, Onkar has been a family doctor in West London since 1989 and maintains GP surgeries in Hanwell and Southall serving some 12,000 patients. Like many clinicians who have been elected to public office, he continues to practice part-time in order to retain his licence to practice.
Fulfilling a lifelong ambition, Onkar graduated in 1989 from Sheffield University Medical School. He also holds an MBA from the London Business School, having also attended the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Professionally, Onkar in addition to his work as a family doctor was a member of the Ealing Primary Care Trust Professional Executive Committee from 2002-2008. From 1997 to 2000 he undertook work funded by the Department for International Development in Russia and Uzbekistan on reform of Primary Care, and advised the Heathrow City Regeneration Partnership on heath and community projects.
Appointed a Justice of the Peace on the Middlesex Commission in 1990, Onkar served as a magistrate on the Ealing Bench until his retirement in 2005. He was formerly the Chair of Governors at Wolf Field Primary School in Norwood Green in the late ‘90s.
At the Assembly, Onkar is Labour’s spokesperson for Heath, chairing the London Assembly Health Committee. With a keen interest in the delivery of Crossrail and High Speed 2 within his constituency, as well as the Davies Commission and the future of Heathrow, he also sits on the Assembly’s Transport and Economy Committees.
A regular voice on London’s radio and in the press, he is also Chair of the Save our Hospitals Ealing campaign against plans to reconfigure A&E services in North West London ahead of the implementation in April 2013 of the biggest reorganisation of structures in the NHS’s history.