The Labour Friends of India held a successful relaunch at an event hosted at the party headquarter in London on Wednesday evening last week.
The event, attended by MPs, Shadow Cabinet Members, councillors and party activists was addressed by the co-chairs: Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor of London, and Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West. In one of her first public engagements, the new High Commissioner for India, HE Ruchi Ghanashyam also addressed the reception. Other speakers included John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor, and Barry Gardiner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Mayor of London, Rajesh Agrawal said “Labour Friends of India will give a powerful voice to the 1.5m strong British-Indian community, as well as promoting understanding of India’s position as a major international power and fast-growing economy. A strong international partnership between the UK and India will continue to endure with the relaunch of the group, as we mark twenty years since it was initially launched in 1999.”
He further said,“Our ties with India are historic and strong, from supporting India’s right to Independence, to challenging the Government’s immigration policies for people from the Subcontinent. With the relaunch of the Labour Friends of India, we will enhance our efforts to build partnership between India and the UK.”
Darren Jones MP said, “With an election possible at any time, we will redouble our work to listen to and engage the community. That will involve everyone from our leadership and front bench, mayors and council leaders, councillors and activists.”
“We can only broaden and deepen our understanding of the issues of concern to the Indian diaspora if we listen to the challenges and concerns facing people, businesses, students, entrenches, community leaders and voluntary sector activists. The Labour Party’s relationship with India, and the significant Indian diaspora in the UK has a proud history, and as we prepare to return to government, we are determined to strengthen our ties for the future,” he added.