Press Release-The Conservative Friends of India hosted dinner to celebrate strong bond between UK and India

The Conservative Friends of India (CF India) hosted a special dinner in honour of the Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP and the Indian High Commissioner H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam on 8th May 2019 at the Taj Hotel, London. The dinner was to celebrate the special bond between the United Kingdom and India.

The newly joined CF India Parliamentary Patrons, Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Transport, and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, former leader of the Conservative Party and former Secretary of State at the Department of Work and Pensions, and Mr Paul Scully MP, Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for London and long-standing Vice Chairman of the CF India, all reiterated the importance of the special relationship between India and the UK as well as the significant contribution of the Indian diaspora to Britain.

The function was opened with the Welcome Address by the Co-Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India and Deputy Treasurer of the Conservative Party, Dr Rami Ranger CBE.

Dr Ranger CBE thanked the Home Secretary for finding time out of his incredibly busy diary to attend the special dinner to celebrate the special relationship between the oldest and largest democracies of the world.

Dr Ranger highlighted the Home Secretary’s recent statement that, “Britain’s diversity is its strength” and reiterated the Conservative Party’s core values that, “ We the Conservative Party accept, respect and celebrate diversity”.

In further highlighting the diversity of the Party, Dr Ranger praised the Hon Nusrat Ghani MP and how in a short period of time she has held a number of high profile Government roles, with her latest appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Transport; Dr Ranger said, "This demonstrates how the Conservative Party celebrates success and talent. The proof is the appointment of our own Home Secretary, Sajid Javid. His hard work and dedication has greatly increased the interest of Asians in the Conservative Party and as a result, the Party has become stronger and Britain richer”.

Dr Ranger welcomed the new High Commissioner of India Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam and expressed the commitment of the Conservative Friends of India, in working to support the initiatives of the Indian High Commission and develop closer ties between the UK and India as well as with the Indian diaspora in the UK.

Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, said how delighted she was to join the Conservative Friends of India as a Patron and highlighted how important the synergy between both great countries is, highlighting the opportunities that exist between India and UK in relation to Transport and other key infrastructure projects. Ghani MP introduced her Co-Minister for Transport and Aviation in the House of Lords Baroness Charlotte Vere of Norbiton.

Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, went onto praise the Home Security and the great work he is doing and how as a result the diaspora in Britain have become more engaged with the Conservative Party and how the Conservative Party is the Party of opportunity and allows you to achieve your aspirations.

Cllr Reena Ranger, introduced CF India Parliamentary Patron, the Rt. Hon Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the Conservative Party and former Secretary of State at Department of Work and Pensions.

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, shared some highly entertaining snippets of his colourful and vast political experience and his affinity with India, with he himself being the first generation of his family after 200 years not to be born in India. He went on to say that it was a huge privilege to be at this special function and praised Sajid Javid MP, as a great Home Secretary and a great person.

The Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, finished by saying, "That we have the most significant opportunity that exists and we must act to re-establish with a great friend, India, the country which shares a common language, common legal system and common belief in democracy, the development of trade and further opportunities to the benefit of both countries and the world."

Mr Paul Scully MP, highlighted how India is currently carrying out the longest exercise in democracy and the opportunity for the UK to enhance and develop closer ties with India. He spoke of the value of the diaspora in Britain and the importance of social mobility for the benefit of the country, including the Indian diaspora's contribution to key public services including the NHS and that Conservative values are shared by the Indian diaspora’s values.

Dr Ravi Gidar, Patron of the Conservative Friends of India, introduced Indian High Commissioner H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam and highlighted her vast experience of over 37 years, in the foreign and diplomatic core having served in Indian Embassies across the sub-continent, Europe, Permanent mission at the UN , New York and as High Commissioner India to Ghana concurrently accredited to Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Togo and South Africa with concurrent accreditation to Kingdom of Lesotho.

Indian High Commissioner H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam thanked the Home Secretary, Nus Ghani MP, Iain Duncan Smith MP , Paul Scully MP, Parliamentarians ,Lords and Ladies, CF India, it's Co-Chairman, Dr Rami Ranger CBE, its Patrons and Executive Committee.

The High Commissioner expressed her gratitude to the Home Secretary and for his commitment to the diaspora and how she really appreciated the time the Home Secretary had committed to this special function.

The High Commissioner highlighted the excellent, close and special relationship between India and UK, which is a multi-faceted relationship and based on key areas of political, economic, science, defence and many other areas of close cooperation. The High Commissioner highlighted how CF India carried out the important work of connecting with the diaspora in Britain.

The High Commissioner expressed pride from the commitment of the guests to be part of the function. She mentioned as the Hon Prime Minister of India had said, “We have a living bridge which connects both countries , the diaspora in Britain brings benefits and benefits both countries.”

Dr Atul Pathak OBE, Patron the Conservative Friends of India, introduced the Home Secretary, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, and spoke of how the Home Secretary started from humble beginnings to excel both in his career in banking to his career as a “rising star” in politics. Highlighting the Home Secretary was the first MP from the 2010 intake to make it to the Cabinet and serving previously as Secretary of State to a number of Departments prior to being promoted to Home Secretary.

The Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP started with congratulating the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of their son. He further congratulated the Indian High Commissioner H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam on her appointment and praised the High Commissioner “as a diplomat of extraordinary experience serving her country for over 40 years, holding a number of high profile roles in the International community and it was his honour to meet the High Commissioner .”

The Home Secretary said the UK looked forward to working alongside India in this "newest strand of the tapestry which links the world's oldest and the world's largest democracies". He paid tribute to the history of the relationship and the help from India with the largest volunteer force of 1 million soldiers in the Great Wars, this being a debt which can never be repaid. The Home Secretary emphasised, "that the relationship and friendship had stood the test of time and both countries stand on firm foundations which together will build a shared future."

The Home Secretary addressed the importance of access to the UK for India, that there was a 35% increase in student numbers from India last year and the total number of skilled visas issued by the UK for skilled workers from India was greater than the number of visas the UK issued to the rest of world. He emphasised this as an example of "the living bridge " between the UK and India and that the new visa system post Brexit which will assist further in welcoming India's brightest and best.

The Home Secretary emphasised that India post-Brexit will be a decisive partner in furthering the joint success of UK and India.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Mr Anil Sharma, Patron of the Conservative Friends of India. Mr Sharma thanked the Home Secretary for all his efforts and that the Conservative Friends of India are there to provide its full support . He thanked the High Commissioner for Her Excellency's support to the special relationship between India and the UK. Mr Sharma thanked the new CF India Parliamentary Patron's Hon Nusrat Ghani MP and Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP , the CF India Vice Chairman Mr Paul Scully MP and for the inspiration of CF India Dr Rami Ranger CBE . In closing Mr Sharma thanked the Taj Hotel for all the hospitality in hosting the evening.

In the Pictures:

1. Cllr. Reena Ranger - compere for the programme

2. Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Co-Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India delivering the Welcome Address

3. Hon. Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department of Transport and Parliamentary Patron of the Conservative Friends of India

4. Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP, former leader of the Conservative Party and former Secretary of State at Department of Work and Pensions, Parliamentary Patron of Conservative Friends of India

5. Mr Paul Scully MP, Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party for London and long-standing Vice Chairman of the Conservative Friends of India

6. Dr Ravi Gidar, Patron of the Conservative Friends of India introducing the High Commissioner of India H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam

7. Guest of Honour The High Commissioner of India H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam

8. Dr Atul Pathak OBE, Patron the Conservative Friends of India introducing the Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

9. Guest of Honour The Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP

10. Mr Anil Sharma, Patron of the Conservative Friends of India, delivering the Vote of Thanks

11 & 12. Guests enjoying the evening

13. Mrs Sneh Sharma presenting a bouquet to the Home Secretary Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP for Mrs Laura Javid

14. Mrs Jaskiran Gidar presenting a bouquet to The High Commissioner of India H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam

15. Mrs Pinki Pathak presenting a bouquet to the Hon Nus Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under- Secretary at the Department of Transport

16. In the picture left to right:Mr Anil Sharma, Patron of CF India, Mr Nayaz Qazi, Director Coordination CF India, Dr Rami Ranger CBE, Co-Chairman CF India, Dr Atul Pathak OBE, Patron of CF India, Home Secretary, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, The High Commissioner of India,H.E Ruchi Ghanashyam, Mr.GP Hinduja Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group- Chair, Dr Ravi Gidar Patron of CF India

Please click here for Photo Gallery