June 25, 2015 No Comments

The 2015 General Election was one of the most keenly contested in many years. In the end the Conservatives won with a comfortable result, and it is said that ethnic minority votes were crucial in helping David Cameron back to No.10. Certainly I know of many restaurateurs who were actively campaigning for the Conservative Party for the first time.

David Cameron has supported our industry and the fact that he has come to the British Curry Awards I am sure counted in his favour at the election. Within our community many more votes went to the Conservatives than ever before.

We will be looking to the new all-Conservative government for their help and support. Immigration will be a top priority, and it seems that the Government will be curbing non-EU migrants even more. But we need to get understanding of our particular problems and the shortage of skilled curry chefs. I believe David Cameron will listen and certainly I will be telling about our difficulties in recruiting that when I speak to him next!

We would also like the Government to consider cutting VAT in the restaurant and hospitality sector to 5%. This has worked in other countries, creating jobs and generating more tax revenues. Let’s try it here as well, as it would give our sector a big boost.

The country will now benefit from a period of political stability. There will be five years before the next election. If the Conservatives listen to our community and respond to the needs of small businesses up and down the country then I am sure their majority next time will be even bigger!

The past few months have been eventful for me personally, with the wedding of my daughter Justine to Anis Haque. Many of you will know her from her work with the British Curry Awards. The wedding ceremonies were a real joy and we received so many expressions of good wishes, even from the Prime Minister and the Queen! The whole experience was beyond my expectations, and I would like to thank all of you who came or sent messages I am sorry I could not invite everyone, but it was difficult to find a venue big enough!

Justine will once again be a key person at the 11th British Curry Awards which are now at an advanced planning stage. Nominations are open so please go to page 46 for details. Let’s break records once again for entries. I am already looking forward to seeing so many of you at the Battersea Evolution on November 30th, when once again we will put British curry in the international spotlight.

We are approaching Ramadan which will be starting around 18th June and ends around 17th July. It will be more challenging this year with the summer and the long periods of daylight which could mean an average 19 hours of fasting per day. I know this will be difficult for restaurant staff who have to keep going serving our customers, but it is a fulfilling time and one which brings spiritual rewards.

May I take this opportunity to wish all of you Eid Mubarak.


Enam Ali MBE – FIH

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