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Press release

Conservatives Gain Seats Against the Odds

The British Asian Conservative Link (BACL) hosted a dinner at the prestigious Carlton Club, London on Wednesday 11th May in honour of Mr. Richard Harrington MP for Watford who is one of the BACL champions. The dinner was in celebration of Richard’s victory at the last general election and his partnership with the BACL. The Churchill Room at the Carlton Club was full with distinguished guests.

The Guest of Honour was the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Lord Popat of Harrow; Tony Baldry MP; Mr Christopher Fenwick, Executive Vice President of the United & Cecil Club; Cllr. Lurline Champagnie OBE, Chairman of the Harrow West Conservative Association; Sheela Mackintosh, Chairman of the Beaconsfield Conservative and Marilyn Ashton, Chairman of the Harrow East Conservative Association were amongst the guests.

Mr. Ranbir Suri, founder and Chairman of the BACL welcomed the guests and highlighted the hard work done by the Party in the local elections and in defeating the AV Referendum. He congratulated everyone for achieving the desired result in the AV Referendum. He said that the British people delivered a humiliating ‘No’ vote to those who wanted to alter a tried and tested system.

General Secretary of the BACL Mr. Rickie Sehgal gave details of the BACL activities over the election period. He was proud of the fact that everyone in the team worked hard for the AV Referendum and local election campaigns.

He congratulated members for mobilising troops across several areas, including Ealing, Harrow, Leicester and Watford during the “No to AV” campaign and the 2011 local election campaigns. At a time when many expected the Party to lose Council seats, the Conservatives in fact increased the number of councils they controlled, with an overall increase of 4 councils, and 85 more councillors across England. Karan Modha who stood in Belgrave, Leicester increased the Conservative vote by 5% and Hitesh Tailor who stood in Leavesden, Watford increased the Conservative vote by 2%. He also congratulated Camilla Khawaja who stood in Nascot, Watford, and Linda Topping for Park, Watford – who both worked very hard but were unable get the magic number to win for the Conservatives.

Richard Harrington MP acknowledged the great contribution that the BACL made to his campaign in getting him elected to Parliament in 2010,

He also acknowledged the support given by the BACL team in the AV Referendum and also at the local elections. He spoke of the close link that the Watford Conservatives have with the BACL and how he will always be grateful to those who have helped him in his campaign.

Lord Popat of Harrow said that we are still not reaching the Asian Votes. We need to make a concerted effort in getting our message across to the British Asian to support a party of their natural values.

Mr Tony Baldry MP praised the work being done by the BACL in supporting candidates in the inner cities where there are large numbers of ethnic votes.

The Guest of Honour the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP congratulated Richard Harrington MP on his election to Parliament and spoke highly of the contribution he had already made to the Party and the Government. He went on to say that the Coalition Government has to take tough and difficult decision in the interest of our nation. He was proud to be a part of the government lead by David Cameron. He was conscious of the fact the BACL make enormous contributions to the overall success of the Party.

There was a brief question and answer session conducted by the Joint Secretary Mr. Ravi Gidar, where guests were invited to ask question to the speakers on current topics. Founder and Patron of the BACL, Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, gave a vote of thanks and also explained the rationale behind the BACL. He thanked all of the speakers for their wonderful contributions to the dinner and the Executive Board of the BACL for hosting the event. Dr Ranger also thanked the guests for their support, the management and staff of the Carlton Club for making the evening enjoyable. He was particularly thankful to Gary Markwell, Indy Aujla and Ameet Jogia for their contributions

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Top Table from left to right: Lord Popat, Mr. Atul Pathak, Mr. Christoper Fenwick, Mr. Ravi Gidar, Mr. Ranbir Suri, Mr. Richard Harrington MP, Mr. Rickie Sehgal, Mr. Tony Baldry MP & Dr. Rami Ranger MBE, FRSA. Guests enjoying the evening
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Mrs. Suri presenting a bouquet to Mrs. Jesse Harrington. Chairman, Mr. Ranbir Suri welcoming guests.
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General Secretary, Mr. Rickie Sehgal congratulating BACL members. Mr. Richard Harrington MP addressing guests.
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Mr. Ameet Jogia (Left) & Mrs. Indy Aujla Introducing Mr. Richard Harrington MP. Mr. Ravi Gidar (Left) & the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP (Right)
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Lord Popat of Harrow connecting with Guests. Dr. Rami Ranger MBE giving a Vote of Thanks.