London: Indian-origin British spy during the World War 2, Noor Inayath Khan is among the top 50 likely to be figured on a £50 note which is yet to be issued by the Bank of England.
Other contenders apart from Noor include former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Clement Atlee, scientist Stephen Hawking, HT reports.
Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944), worked for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in France and was betrayed to the Germans and executed in Dachau.
According to the bank rules, no living figures apart from Queen Elizabeth can figure on the currency notes.
The bank of England will soon seek nominations from the public shortly.
So far, no members of ethnic minority group or non-white members has figured on the currency notes.
Tom Tugendhat, chairman of foreign affairs committee of Parliament and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi are supporting Inayath Khan.
Tariq Ahmad, a minister in the Foreign Office, tweeted: “Honour to lend support to a great campaign…to recognise a brave British Muslim woman — Noor Inayat Khan as the face of £50 note — she served our nation with courage against Nazi tyranny.”
While Tugendhat said: “The new £50 could have anyone on it, I’m backing Noor Inayat Khan. She volunteered for SOE, served bravely as an agent in occupied Europe, was eventually captured and murdered. A Muslim, a woman, a hero of WW2. This would celebrate her courage and all SOE.”
Noor Inayat Khan was born in Moscow. Her father, Inayat Khan, was a descendant of the Tipu Sultan family and lived in Europe as a musician and teacher of Sufism.
Noor’s mother, Pirani Ameena Begum, was an American who had met her father while traveling in the US.
Journalist-author Shrabani Basu penned down Ms Khan’s in 2008 with the title name Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan.
Noor’s statue was unveiled by Princess Anne at Gordon Square Gardens in November 2012.