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Peerage for Sir Gulam

Dr Patel also figures in this year's list of new peers, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2005 23:21 IST
Vijay Dutt

Two Britons of Indian origin figure in this year's list of new peers, it is learnt.
They are Sir Gulam K Noon, chairman of Noon Foods, the biggest producer of readymade Indian food in Britain, and Dr Chai Patel, head of the third-largest healthcare company in the country.

Sir Gulam is on the board of several charitable trusts, including the Prince's Trust, and was the first non-white president in the 126-year history of the London Chamber of Commerce.

Patel is an advocate of private sector participation in Britain's National Health Service.

Both men have been long-time supporters of the New Labour, and critics are ready to pounce on Tony Blair for recommending friends and donors of the party for the annual honour. But the two have also been philanthropists and honorary advisers on many policy issues.

Sir Gulam has been active in charitable projects in India. He has built a multi-purpose hall in the Birla College in Bhawani Mandi, and elsewhere in Rajasthan he has built a mini-dam and paid for extension of four schools.

It is learnt that contrary to earlier reports, steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal does not figure in this year's list for new peers.

The other two new peers are Sir David Garrard, a millionaire property developer knighted in January 2003 for charity work and Barry Townsley, a millionaire stockbroker.