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Press release

This week the British Asian Conservative Link (BACL) held a dinner at the Carlton Club in London to honour BACL champion Paul Uppal MP on his successful election as Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West this May. The prestigious Churchill Room was filled with distinguished guests from the political and business world, coming together to celebrate the successes that 2010 has brought for the Conservative Party and the important role that the BACL played in helping our PPC champions reach out to the Asian voters and drive the Conservative message to the Asian communities throughout the United Kingdom.

High profile guest speakers were in abundance at the dinner with Paul Uppal MP, Tony Baldry MP, Desmond Swayne MP and Syed Kammal MEP all giving enthusiastic and enjoyable speeches and taking questions from the floor. Guests were also honoured with the presence of Amitabh Mathur, a Minister from the High Commission of India, as well as C B Patel, editor of Asian Voice.

The evening kicked off with a welcome from the Chairman and co-founder of the BACL, Mr Ranbir Suri who highlighted the wonderful achievements of the BACL over the past year and the proud increase in Asian MPs returned at the General Election in May.

Rickie Sehgal, General Secretary of the BACL, then addressed guests and informed them of the various schemes the BACL had underway, notably the Future Gov programme and the Youth Engagement Project. Mr Sehgal added that the BACL offered assistance to all PPCs and the 2010 elections results have helped to show just how much the utilisation of the Asian vote can help.

Paul Uppal MP spoke about his desire to enter into a career in politics and the experiences he had fighting an election in such a diverse area, emphasising how important the work of the BACL is in encouraging a greater level of political involvement amongst members of the Asian community.

Desmond Swayne MP, Permanent Private Secretary to the Prime Minister David Cameron and member of Parliament for New Forest West, thanked the BACL for inviting him and congratulated Paul Uppal MP on his election to Parliament, describing the positive impact he has had on the Party and the Coalition Government already by agreeing to take a seat on so many committees. He also expressed his desire to become more active in supporting the good work of the BACL in the future.

Guests then had the opportunity to listen to Syed Kammal MEP for London. Mr Kammal spoke of his humble background and his natural Conservative values which were in essence Asian values. Syed commented that Labour had for years patronised ethnic minorities and alienated them, rather than encourage their progression like the Conservative Party had.

The political speeches were then wrapped up by Tony Baldry MP, member of Parliament for North Oxfordshire, who spoke briefly about the life of an MP, describing the current political climate and the atmosphere in the House as the much publicised vote on the raising of tuition fees draws closer.

Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, co-founder and Patron of the BACL then thanked the management and staff of the Carlton Club for making the evening enjoyable. He also thanked the guests from the business world for supporting the dinner and the speakers for attending and supporting the BACL in their mission to increase political awareness among the Asian community and to offer the Conservative Party support and advice in engaging with Asian voters, through consultation and policy projects. Dr Ranger also thanked the BACL team for their efforts, namely Ameet Jogia, Ravi Gidar, Neeraj Arora and Gary Markwell.