Welcome to the Labour Friends of India (LFIN) blog hosted on BarryGardiner.com. This section contains articles published by Barry Gardiner MP and Labour Friends of India.
Labour Friends of India is a Labour organisation created over ten years ago to further links between the Labour Party and India and to get the UK Indian community engaged in British Politics.
The work LFIN members do falls into three broad categories:
1. Policy and research – We work with the Labour Party to develop and move forwards policy which recognises India's role in the world, and the importance of the UK-India relationship to both countries. We provide Labour MPs and policy makers with briefings and resources to this end.
2. Trade and Investment relations – We work with business leaders from India and the UK to ensure Labour Party politicians are fully aware of the latest developments in UK-India trade relations and their impact upon British and Indian companies.
3. Community engagement and empowerment – We engage in outreach in both directions, so that the Labour Party is in touch with the views of Indians in the UK, and that the Labour Party is better able to communicate their work and policies to the community.
The current Chair of Labour Friends of India is Barry Gardiner MP. He is assisted by a panel including Baroness Royall - Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords, Gareth Thomas MP, Baron Meghnad Desai - Professor Emeritus at the LSE and Varun Chandha from Tony Blair Associates.
Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year
Diwali is a time to celebrate the victory of good over evil, to take stock and be grateful for the gifts bestowed to us and to show our appreciation to our family, friends and communities.
On behalf of Labour Friends of India, I wish a happy Diwali, and prosperous New Year to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist communities throughout the UK.
Barry Gardiner MP
Barry meets with "Justice for Bhopal" campaigners
On 10th April 2012 Barry hosted a meeting of the Justice for Bhopal campaign bringing together a number of groups representing the Indian community in the UK. The meeting set out a plan for the next stage of their campaign in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The group includes representatives of the UK's 800,000 strong Hindu community as well as representatives from other faith groups including the Muslim Council of Britain, The Assamese community, the National Council of Gujarati Organisations, The Zoroastrian Trust Fund of Europe and representatives of Britain's Jain community.
You can learn more about the Justice for Bhopal campaign here.
India celebrates 65th anniversary of independence
Today India celebrates sixty-five years of independence and this significant date in Indian history provides us with an opportunity to again reflect on India's growing global influence and, specifically, the massive contribution that India and Indian people have made to the culture of the United Kingdom.
Barry hosts Labour Friends of India community outreach event
On 10th May 2012 Barry hosted a community outreach event in Parliament as Chair of Labour Friends of India. Barry was joined at the event by Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, to launch the first 'Labour Community Engagement Forum' in Parliament giving members of the Indian community the opportunity to discuss concerns that are a priority for them with a panel of distinguished Labour Party politicians, and to make suggestions for improving the way the Labour Party engages with them. Ed Miliband showed the Labour Party was in a listening mood, answering questions for almost an hour on topics as varied as immigration, education, healthcare, human rights in India, tax rates and the local elections.
Barry's speaks in Westminster Hall debate on sustainable Olympics
On Tuesday 21 February 2012, Barry addressed Parliament about ways to make sure the environment is not harmed during the events of the London Olympics, continuing the campaign against the involvement of Dow Chemicals in London 2012.
Barry is committed to raising awareness in Parliament regarding Dow Chemical's involvement to India's Bhopas gas disaster in 1984, which killed more than 15,000 people. The US firm was awarded the £7m contract to provide the decorative wrap for London's Olympic Stadium, despite continuing criticism of its involvement to India's Bjopas gas disaster in 1984.
A full text of Barry's speech can be found here:
Best wishes on Republic Day from Labour Friends of India
Barry Gardiner MP took the opportunity of Republic Day to praise India for her phenomenal growth and modernisation over the past 63 years in a major speech on UK aid to India in Parliament.