The Conservative Friends of India, (CF India) hosted its Festive Season Drinks Reception on Monday 26th November 2018 at the Taj Hotel, London. It was the perfect occasion celebrating the diversity of Britain and the contribution of the Indian diaspora in the UK. It was also an occasion to thank all those connected with the Conservative Friends of India.
The event was attended by the Justice Secretary, The Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP, Mr Alok Sharma, Minister of State for Employment at the Department of Work and Pensions, the Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Mr Bob Blackman MP, The Israeli Ambassador to Britain H.E. Mark Regav, Deputy High Commissioner to India, Geoff Wain, Mr AS Rajan, Minister Coordination and Mr SK Jha, Minister Consular at the High Commission of India.
Co-Chairman Mr Zac Goldsmith MP, welcomed the guests and paid tribute to the members of Conservative Friends of India and to his fellow Co-Chairman Dr Rami Ranger CBE for the excellent work being done in developing a cordial relationship between the High Commission of India and the Conservative Party. He also thanked H.E. Mark Regev, The Ambassador of Israel for gracing the evening with his presence and showing solidarity with the Indian diaspora in Britain.
Dr Rami Ranger CBE, along with the guests and senior representation from the Indian High Commission, Mr S.K Jha, Minister Consular and A.S Rajan, Minister Coordination, held a minute’s silence to remember those who lost their lives in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Dr Ranger said that India is emerging as a positive force and contributing to the prosperity of the world. India is a role model country where diversity is accepted, respected and protected by law just as it is in Britain. In the same way, we also celebrate Diwali, Eid, Vaisakhi and the birth of Lord Buddha in perfect harmony.
Dr Ranger highlighted the significant contribution that Indians are making in Britain and he thanked the India High Commission for their support and is looking forward to working with the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner to Britain H.E. Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam.
Dr Ranger went on to introduce the Chief Guest, the Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP, the Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.
The Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP paid tribute to the CF India and its Co-Chairmen Zac and Rami for making it one of the most vibrant organisations within the Conservative Party. He further highlighted the importance of India to Britain and how as a partner it is vital to further develop the relationship post-Brexit.
Mr Bob Blackman MP, Vice Chair of CF India, highlighted the importance of the ethnic vote for the Conservative Party. He was disappointed that the gains made in the 2015 general election were not consolidated in the 2017 general election.
Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP, Vice Chair of CF India, stated how delighted she was to be at the function and paid tribute to the Indian diaspora and how it is most valued and how the Conservative Party shares it values with it.
Mr Alok Sharma MP, Minister of Employment, paid tribute to the Co-chairmen of CF India and how pleased he was with its success. He was proud to have been born in India and even more proud to be a British Indian. He further went on to highlight the contribution of the British Indians to the UK.
Mr Geoff Wain, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Gujarat and Rajasthan, highlighted the number of staff the British Mission has in India, numbering around 1000 and that this is the largest number of staff for any British Mission compared to any other country. This exemplified the importance of the British - India relationship.
Mr Anil Sharma, Patron of Conservative Friends of India, delivered the vote of thanks, he thanked the Chief Guest Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP, Mr Alok Sharma MP, Minister for Employment, the Co-Chairmen, the Vice-Chairs, Patrons, Executive Committee, the Deputy British High Commissioner Mr Geoff Wain, the Taj Hotel for the exquisite food, drinks and venue and, most importantly, all CF India Members.