Gulam Noon, Baron Noon
He has founded and operated a number of food product companies in Southall, London, specialising in Indian cuisine. His main business has been Noon Products, which he established in September 1987, manufacturing chilled and frozen ready meals, predominantly for UK supermarkets, mainly in the Indian and Thai ready meal categories. In 2005 Noon Products was taken over by Irish food conglomerate Kerry Group. In 1994 a fire in his factory destroyed everything, however within 10 weeks of this fire the company had begun selling its products again. He kept all his staff in employment during this period.
In the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 he was placed in 888th position with an estimated fortune of £65 million.
In March 2006 he came to wider notice as one of the businessmen embroiled in the "Cash for Peerages" scandal when it emerged that he had loaned £250,000 to the Labour Party. He was given an MBE for services to the food industry in 1994 (under a Conservative government) and knighted in 2002. It was widely implied[by whom?] that Sir Gulam had been given a knighthood, and promised a further peerage, in return for lending money to and hosting fundraisers for the Labour Party.
Noon was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) in the 1996 New Year Honours. He was later made a Knight Bachelor in the 2002 Birthday Honours, having the honour conferred in December that year.
On 27 January 2011, he was created a life peer as Baron Noon, of St John's Wood in the London Borough of Camden and was introduced in the House of Lords on 31 January 2011, where he sits on the Labour benches.
Views on extremist imams
Noon was among those trapped in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel by terrorists, during the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, but was rescued and later appeared on BBC News to describe his experiences. He subsequently praised the response by India's Muslim community to the attacks, saying:
"Indian Muslims have refused to bury the nine dead terrorists. They are still in the mortuary. It is a good symbolic message for the rest of secular India." "Now Britain needs to get tough with the radical imams. We have the power to do something."
He also called for Britain to toughen measures against extremist Muslim preachers, and said that the door was open for foreign imams to radicalise young Muslims in mosques across Britain:
"Having seen what I saw at close quarters, the indiscriminate violence and pain inflicted in the name of my religion, I am astounded that I hear from friends in the community that radical preachers are still coming to this country and praising attacks by Al-Qaeda and suicide missions. There is a limit to free speech. Extremists who preach their approval of suicide bombers should be sent back to their country of origin."
- "James Caan, Sir Gulam Noon MBE and West Ham United celebrate Business School graduates success".
- "Maimonides Foundation". Retrieved 28 September 2010.
- "UEL new chancellor". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- The London Gazette: . 29 December 1995.
- The London Gazette: . 15 June 2002.
- The London Gazette: . 15 August 2003.
- The London Gazette: . 1 February 2011.
- House of Lords Business, Monday 31 January 2011
- Thomson, Alice; Sylvester, Rachel (27 November 2008). "Sir Gulam Noon, British 'Curry King': how I escaped bombed hotel". London: The Times. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
- "Noon lauds Indian Muslim response to 26/11". Press Trust of India. 29 November 2009.
- Syal, Rajeev (29 November 2009). "British Muslim tycoon Sir Gulam Noon calls for curbs on extremist imams". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
Brian Rix, Baron Rix
|Chancellor of the University of East London