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Keith Vaz was first elected in June 1987 and has been re-elected as a Member of Parliament 6 times. He was the first person of Asian origin to sit in the House of Commons since 1922. He was Britain’s Minister for Europe under Tony Blair.

He now serves as influential


the Chairman of Affairs

includes policing, Committee,

the a

Parliamentary committee that scrutinises the work of the Home Office. The portfolio of the committee


terrorism, immigration and the justice and home affairs agenda of the European Union.

Four years ago he was elected as a member of the Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee and he was appointed by the Prime Minister in 2006 to chair its Ethnic Minority Taskforce, a position he still holds. Born to Goan parents in Aden, Yemen he was educated at Cambridge University where he studied law and then became a solicitor. Elected as the youngest Labour Member of Parliament in 1987

Talukdar Abdul Khalique Talukdar Abdul Khalique

started life in

Badehostidur, Balagonj, Sylhet in 1946. He lost his mother at a very young age, but this only spurred his epic personal journey. At 16 he followed in his seafaring father to Britain and started what was to become a career spanning over 50 years shaping British-Asian cuisine.

By 24 he was the principal chef at the

legendary Shezan group Knightsbridge (1970). His personal commitment in mobilizing Bengali workers for the campaign of the War of Liberation in 1971took him to a newly independent Bangladesh where he established employment and regeneration projects in Sylhet. However, concern for his young family during the instability of the newly formed country led him to return to the UK.

Croydon became the new home for him and his family and he soon established The Khyber, his very own restaurant. His reputation as a chef soon came to the attention of top bosses at Croydon based Nestles’ and before long the multi-national was launching their curry paste in his restaurant. This fillip resulted in his reputation reaching an exalted level.

The rest, as they say, is history. Today The Khyber & Khana Peena are a chain of restaurants. Both brands are recipients of numerous awards and have earned their place in the Good Food and Michelin guides, as well as a host of accolades from business organizations and community networks.

22  The Bangladesh Cuisine

he was appointed an Opposition Spokesman on regeneration and established the City 2020 Commission. When Labour was

elected to

government in 1997 he was made Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General. He then became a Junior Justice Minister and was quickly promoted to become a Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he helped

negotiate the enlargement of the

European Union. In 2001 he became the senior Labour member on the Justice Committee and in 2007 was elected Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee and was re-elected for a further term in 2010 by a vote of the whole Parliament.

His interests include health issues, in particular diabetes prevention, Yemen, and Tamil issues. He chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Yemen and founded the All Party Parliamentary Tamil Group and is a former President of the Indo-British Parliamentary Group.

He is married with two children.

Mr Khalique’s commitment in empowering the Bangladeshi community to excel and become responsible members of the community.

His achievements are numerous, but here are a few; • Work with Save The Children and numerous other local charities both here and in Bangladesh which include raising funds for cyclone shelters, new homes and healthcare as well as several mercy missions to Bangladesh in times of severe flooding • His campaigns for all sections of the Asian community and others to promote race relations

and harmony at both local and governmental level • Founding member of the Bangladesh Welfare Association in Croydon • Support to local further education for health and safety and culinary education

Mr Khalique’s vision has been his commitment to promote and excel

development, which he believes go hand-in-hand.

The most poignanthomage from the late Lord Bernard Weatherill, former speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Croydon North East, who served during the famine in Bengal in 1942 regarded Mr Khalique ‘as a pioneering individual to raise charity funds’ moreover ‘a person with great heart.’

in the restaurant business and community

Curry & Tandoori | Volume 11 | December 2011

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