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The path is clear for black Prime Minister'

PUBLISHED: 17:23 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:37 25 August 2010

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., makes remarks to his supporters after his victory in the Democratic Iowa caucus Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, in Des Moines, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., makes remarks to his supporters after his victory in the Democratic Iowa caucus Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A TOP racial equality director has hailed US presidential elect Barack Obama and claims his success could lead to a black Prime Minster in the UK.

A TOP racial equality director has hailed US presidential elect Barack Obama and claims his success could lead to a black Prime Minster in the UK.

As Obama clinched the 44th US presidency with more than 52 per cent of the vote, Dev Sharma, director of North West Kent Racial Equality Council (NWKREC) was celebrating.

Mr Sharma MBE told the Times how the democrat will point the way forward for the rest of the world after his successful bid to control the White House.

He said: "Barack Obama is now a very good role model and will inspire the rest of the black, minority and ethnic community to access these things.

"It gives a sense that at long last we are achieving the community cohesion that has been so elusive in the past.

"His presidency will have an effect on the rest of us by showing that this is the way forward and maybe in the near future we will have a black Prime Minister."

Mr Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 the son of a Kenyan man and a white woman from Kansas.

He worked as a civil rights lawyer in Chicago after studying law at Harvard and served in the Illinois state senate from 1996 to 2004, being elected to the US Senate in a landslide victory in 2004.

In less than two years he has gone from a virtual unknown to a household name.

Paul Wingrove, a senior lecturer in history and politics at the University of Greenwich, said the election of the first black president showed a 'coming of age' in the electorate.

He said: "I think in one sense it might be dramatic to say this is a new era in American history, but what is clear is that a new generation has come in.

"Not long ago, only in the Kennedy era, African Americans were widely denied their civil rights."

Mr Wingrove added that Gordon Brown could learn a thing or two from the new president.

He said: "Barack Obama's rhetoric is a lot more fluid than Gordon Brown, who seems less confident in public.

"But Barack Obama could take a leaf out of Gordon Brown's book when it comes to economics, where he's actually done a good job.

"I'm sure the president will be calling him soon."

Mr Obama became the first black presidential candidate for either of the major US parties when he clinched the democratic nomination after a gruelling battle against former first lady, Hilary Clinton in June.

He now has 70 days before he officially takes office in the White House on Inauguration Day on January 20, 2009.

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