British-Indian MP takes charge of Conservative party group
Indian-origin British MP Shailesh Vara has been appointed co-chairman of the Conservative Friends of India group that aims to build better links between the diaspora and the party.
The 56-year-old Gujarati-origin MP joins co-chair Indian-origin businessman Ranjit Singh Baxi in the group, which is affiliated to the UK's ruling Conservative Party.
"The relationship between the Conservative Party and the Indian diaspora continues to grow closer by the day and I look forward to furthering that aim," Vara said on Monday. "There is much work to be done, both in terms of deepening the Conservative Party's relationship with the British Indian diaspora and strengthening our very close links with India," he said.
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 made Minister for Asia at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Sharma is now working with UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson to build links with India following Brexit, CF-India said.
"We have an exciting programme of events and activity planned for the coming year and we can do nothing but accelerate with the sound advice and ideas of one of the most senior Indian-origin politicians in the UK," said Baxi.