Peerage for Indian tycoon who gave Tories 200,000 pounds
A Ugandan-born Indian business tycoon, who gave the Conservatives over 200,000 pounds in donations, will be nominated for a British peerage by Prime Minister David Cameron.Updated: May 27, 2010 15:34 IST
A Ugandan-born Indian business tycoon, who gave the Conservatives over 200,000 pounds in donations, will be nominated for a British peerage by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Dolar Popat, who is a self-made multimillionaire, will get a seat in the House of Lords. He has an estimated fortune of 42 million pounds, Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
Popat's family fled from Idi Amin's regime, when he arrived from Uganda as a 17-year-old in 1971, he had just 10 pounds in his pocket.
He has helped bankroll Tory frontbenchers, including International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell and Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.
Popat, 55, has also made a string of donations to fellow Ugandan-born MP Shailesh Vara's constituency.
He began his career by working as a waiter at a Wimpy restaurant and later became an accountant. He then formed a firm that advised small companies on raising capital. His wealth jumped after he set up the TLC Group that owns hotels and care homes across Britain.
At a dinner of the Hindus in Britain Forum, Popat said that multi-culturalism had stopped working. "There are too many immigrants of too many kinds," he was quoted as saying.
"When I first came to Britain in 1971 there were the Scots, the Irish, the Indians, Pakistanis and the Afro-Caribbeans here. Now we have a large number of people from different parts of Africa and Eastern Europe."
The peerage issue has, however, come in for criticism.
Conservative MP Mark Field said that appointments to the House of Lords may become the next big political scandal.
He called for a wholly elected House of Lords, and said "Conservatives should ideally take the lead here by restricting any future patronage to the House of Lords to those taking up ministerial appointments."
"Mark my words, the appointment of peers has the potential to be the next parliamentary scandal in the making. I hope that the Conservative leadership will once more show itself ahead of the curve."
First Published: May 27, 2010 12:19 IST