• Monday, March 27, 2023


All Party Parliamentary Group for British Gujaratis holds inaugural meeting

Thomas Gareth MP (Picture: Thomas Gareth MP Twitter account)

By: Shubham Ghosh

The inaugural meeting of the new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Gujaratis was held at the House of Commons on March 6. Parliamentarians and peers from across the UK’s political spectrum took an initiative together to set up the body which aims at working on issues and concerns of the UK’s Gujarati community and provide it and the British parliament a better two-way consultation process for improved decision-making.

The Gujarati community in the UK has been aspiring for an APPG for many years to serve its needs and ensure that the members’ views are properly understood and presented to the government, local authorities and statutory bodies, political parties and parliamentary representatives.

Gareth Thomas MP, co-chair of the APPG welcomed the move to form an APPG for the British Gujaratis to “celebrate the vision and ambition of the Gujarati community in the UK”.

“I am delighted to have set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Gujaratis in order to celebrate the vision and ambition of the Gujarati community in the UK, as well as address some of the challenges and barriers that the community faces. The APPG on British Gujaratis will provide a space for the parliamentarians to learn about these concerns and aspirations of the Gujarati community and to collaborate with them on initiatives that promote the community’s interests,” the Harrow West parliamentarian said.

Acknowledging the contribution made by the Gujarati community in the UK, the shadow minister for trade policy said, “The Gujarati community in the UK has made tremendous contributions to our society and economy. Gujaratis, of all faiths, have established successful businesses, created jobs, and made a positive impact in our local communities. Despite these achievements, they have faced significant challenges that have not received the attention they deserve.

“The APPG on British Gujaratis will provide the Gujarati community with an opportunity to engage with politicians on matters such as health and wellbeing, education, social and cultural needs, immigration, bilateral trade with the State of Gujarat in India, and
economic development in the UK.”

Sanjay Jagatia, the APPG’s secretariat lead, said, “I am delighted to have been appointed as the secretariat lead to work with the members of the APPG for British Gujaratis, in order to shine the political spotlight on our community. The APPG for British Gujaratis is a necessary and a long overdue step towards ensuring that the Gujarati community in the UK has a strong voice in parliament. I look forward to working in consultation with subject experts from the Gujarati community, together with community leaders, temples, and groups to raise issues with the APPG that matter to the community”.

More than 800,000 Gujaratis live in the UK and their residences are mostly concentrated in metropolitan areas such as Greater London, East Midlands, West Midlands, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. Having arrived in the UK during the migration waves of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s from India and East African nations, the Gujaratis established themselves as key players in the host nation’s social and economic affairs.

The APPG for British Gujaratis now eye ‘Public Launch’ which will take place in the Houses of parliament on April 25. Community and business leaders, representatives of temples, charities and groups from the Gujarati community will attend the event which will also coincide with Gujarat Day.

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