Sharma in 2013
|Member of Parliament
for Reading West
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Martin Salter|
7 September 1967 |
|Alma mater||University of Salford|
Alok Sharma (born 7 September 1967) is an Indian-born British politician with the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. He was elected in 2010 as Member of Parliament for Reading West county constituency in and around the town of Reading in the county of Berkshire.
Early life and career
Sharma subsequently qualified as a chartered accountant, training with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in Manchester before moving into corporate finance advisory with Nikko Securities and then Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, where he held senior roles based out of London, Stockholm and Frankfurt. Alok advised corporates and private equity firms on cross border mergers and acquisitions, listings and restructurings. 
Sharma is currently a governor of a local primary school in Reading. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the advancement of the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce. Previously he served as a chairman of the political think tank Bow Group's economic affairs committee. In 2013, he was appointed as the Conservative Vice Chairman for BME Communities.
In Parliament, Sharma has served as a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee, between July 2010 and February 2011  and is a current member of the Treasury Select Committee. During Sharma’s time on the Treasury Select Committee, the committee has investigated how financial services customers are treated and Sharma has been critical of the banks for mis-selling products to customers.
Sharma was appointed in September 2011 as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Mark Hoban MP, during Hoban’s time as Financial Secretary to the Treasury.  During his time as a PPS, Sharma sat on a number of public bill committees including two finance bills, the 2013 Banking Reform Bill and the 2011 Pensions Bill.
Sharma supported the opening of one of the first new Free Schools in the country in his Reading West constituency. All Saints Junior School opened in September 2011 and received an “Outstanding” rating in its first Ofsted report. 
Sharma has also been appointed a Patron of the Wren School, a new secondary Free School opening in west Reading in September 2015. Sharma supported the West Reading Education Network in getting the new school approved and is helping the school to find an appropriate permanent site.  
Sharma has been a vocal supporter of Heathrow Airport and has spoken in support of increasing the number of airport runways in the South East of England, claiming that “a lack of hub capacity is costing the UK jobs and investment.”  
Following the death of two cyclists in Purley, Sharma has campaigned for longer prison sentences for those convicted of death by dangerous driving. Sharma initiated a Parliamentary debate on the issue and backed a petition, started by the families of victims, which gained more than 55,000 signatures. 
Sharma has campaigned to reduce the number of First Class carriages on trains operating on the Great Western route between Reading and Paddington. In January 2015, he held a meeting with Rail Minister Claire Perry and First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood to discuss proposals to increase Standard Class capacity to reduce overcrowding. 
In February 2014 Sharma criticised Labour leader Ed Miliband during the latter's visit to Purley which had been badly affected by flooding. Sharma claimed that the visit was merely a photo opportunity for Miliband. Miliband responded by saying that he had come 'for the people of your constituency'. 
East West Leaders’ Forum
Sharma set up the East West Leaders’ Forum, a discussion forum between business leaders, to promote dialogue between Europe, India and China. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, gave the keynote speech at the inaugural event which was held in London in September 2014. 
- "Alok Sharma MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "As Reading West MP prepares to stand down the contest hots up". Newbury Today. 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2010-07-25.