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Indian-origin British MP takes charge of Conservative Party group

Indian-origin British MP Shailesh Vara

London, Sep 21 (UITV)- Indian-origin British MP Shailesh Vara has been appointed co-chairman of the Conservative Friends of India, a group that aims to build better links between the diaspora and the party. Vara joins co-chair Indian-origin businessman Ranjit Singh Baxi in the group, which is affiliated to the UK’s ruling Conservative Party.

“I am delighted to be co-chairman of CF India again. The relationship between the Conservative party and the Indian diaspora continues to grow closer by the day and I look forward to furthering the aim,” Vara said in a statement.

In 2014, Vara was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Indian government in recognition of his work in promoting closer ties between the UK and India. It is the highest award that the Indian government confers on people of Indian origin living abroad.

Vara’s appointment follows the recent ministerial reshuffle under British Prime Minister Theresa May, when Indian-origin MP Alok Sharma, who had been the Conservative Friends of India (CF-India) co-chairman, was maid Minister for Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Conservative Friends of India (CF-India) said in a statement, Vara will bring a “wealth of experience to the role, which he has held previously. He is the former justice minister and minister in the Department of Work and Pensions as well as having served as a government whip.”

“Shailesh is someone who will give time and efforts to whatever task is in hand because we have an exciting programme of events and activity planned for the coming years and we can accelerate it with the sound advice and ideas of one of the most senior Indian-origin politicians in the UK. We are looking forward to working with him.” said Ranjit Baxi.