Conservative MP Dean Russell told attendees at a fundraising dinner in Birmingham, “When Labour see a problem, they exploit it. When we see a problem, we fix it”. The event was organised by Edgbaston Conservatives in partnership with Conservative Friends of India (CFI), the British Indian arm of the Tory party.
Currently held by Labour, the Tories are eager to take over the Edgbaston seat at the next UK general election. MP Russell, originally from Castle Bromwich in Birmingham, said his party were working hard to halving inflation, cutting debt, growing the economy, solving backlogs and stopping small boats.
In his humour-packed 10-minute address, MP Russell said he understood why that the nation was annoyed with the Tories and cited two types of politicians: those who knock on doors to tell constituents what they think and those who do the same to ask constituents what they think. He said the latter was better as it prompted people to share their views on why they don’t want the opposition.
Speakers were eloquently introduced by CFI volunteer Amil Khan, Public Affairs Manager at University of Birmingham. Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street, in his address, said that India has become the second biggest inward investor in the West Midlands and is "nipping on the heels" of the United States. Mr Street also said that the number of foreign businesses thinking of investing in the region has doubled to 1,200 since the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Bilateral trade between India and the UK is worth around £16.5 billion, and the UK is India’s biggest G20 investor. India is one of the biggest investors in the UK. It invests more in the UK than it invests in the rest of the EU combined.
The Consul General of India in the Midlands, Dr Shashank Vikram reminded attendees of the importance of friendship and said that finding like-minded countries was a challenge hence the UK-India bond was a particularly special one. With the aid of his mobile phone, he scrolled down citing several key statistics relating to UK-India trade.
Held at Edgbaston Golf Club last Friday (3 March), the round-table event brought together friends from all sections of society. Attendees included Dominic Stanford, former Birmingham City councillor, now a Public Affairs Officer and Chairman of Edgbaston Conservatives, former Leader of Birmingham City Council Lord Mike Whitby, businessmen in real estate, the Arain brothers, accountant Shabir Djakiodine, Albanian asylum seeker turned barrister Musa Nela, Shamsul and Hamdan Arifeen, Will Buttress, President of University of Birmingham Conservatives and local politicians and supporters.
The evening included a three-course meal and featured a Q&A session. The vote of thanks was given by CFI Director Nayaz Qazi.