Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather

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Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather (born 13 February 1934) is a teacher and British politician.

She became a life peer for the Conservative party in 11 June 1990 as Baroness Flather, of Windsor and Maidenhead in the Royal County of Berkshire.[1] She was the first Asian woman to receive a peerage. In 1998 she resigned as the Conservative whip over the demotion of Viscount Cranborne for his actions to reduce the impact of the 1999 House of Lords Act. She rejoined the party in 1999, but left a second time in 2008, since when she has sat as a crossbencher.[2]

Baroness Flather attended University College London and is married to Gary Denis Flather. She has served as Deputy Mayor and as Mayor for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

She has also been a teacher of English as a second language and a member of the Conservative Women's National Committee. Baroness Flather has been recognised as Asian Who's Who Asian of the Year 1996. She has served senior posts in various organisations involved in refugee, community, race relations and prison work.

As a member of the House of Lords, she gained attention for wearing a sari and for being among the first ethnic minorities in the house.

Baroness Flather is a distinguished supporter of the British Humanist Association and an honorary associate of the National Secular Society. She is one of the Vice Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.[3] She lives in Maidenhead with her husband.

She is patron of the British branch of Child In Need India (CINI UK)[4] and the UK population concern charity, Population Matters.[5]

In September 2011 she accused the Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrant communities in the United Kingdom of having a large number of children in order to be able to claim more benefits.[6] She said the issue did not apply to British families of Indian origin as the Indian families had a different mentality from that of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in the UK, desiring that their children should be educated.[6]

Baroness Flather made further controversial comments in November 2012, when she defended Conservative election strategist Lynton Crosby, during an incident where he used an offensive term referring to Muslims at a meeting when he was working for Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.[7] She said: "I don’t condone swearing, but Lynton is right to say it is pointless for the Conservatives to chase Muslim votes. They are all on benefits and all vote Labour."[8]


The Baroness is the great-granddaughter of Sir Ganga Ram,[9] a noted engineer, philanthropist and agriculturist during the late 19th century and early 20th century in Punjab, British India.


Woman Acceptable Exploitation For Profit (2010) ISBN 978-1-84995-002-2


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