Sandip Verma, Baroness Verma

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The Baroness Verma
Official portrait of Baroness Verma crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2017
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development
In office
7 May 2015 – 13 July 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Northover
Succeeded byJames Wharton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
In office
4 September 2012 – 7 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Lord Marland
Succeeded byThe Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth
Baroness-in-waiting
Government Whip
In office
11 May 2010 – 4 September 2012
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Crawley
Succeeded byThe Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
22 June 2006
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1959-06-30) 30 June 1959 (age 63)
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Political partyConservative

Sandip K. Verma, Baroness Verma (born 30 June 1959)[1] known until 1977 as Sandip K. Rana, is an Indian-British politician in the United Kingdom. An appointed member of the House of Lords, she is Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas, a role who chairs the UN Women's national committee.[2] Verma has been the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, from 2015 to 2016.

Life[edit]

Born in Amritsar in the Indian Punjab, as a child Verma migrated with her parents to England, arriving in 1960.[3] In 1977, aged seventeen, she married Ashok Verma.[4] They have two children.[3] She is the grand-daughter of the Indian freedom fighter Ujagar Singh, who was a former leader of the Indian Workers' Association and the India League.[5]

She made her living in their high fashion business before she invested in supplying residential care. This was enabled by the Conservative party's policy of privatisation and the main customer was Leicester Council.[3]

Verma was an unsuccessful Conservative parliamentary candidate in Kingston upon Hull East at the 2001 United Kingdom general election, finishing third, and in Wolverhampton South West in the general election of 2005, coming second to the Labour incumbent, Rob Marris.[6]

On 2 June 2006, she was created a life peer, taking the title Baroness Verma, of Leicester in the County of Leicestershire.[7][8] The same year, she was appointed as a Patron of the Tory Reform Group.

Verma speaks at the launch of the 13th London Mela at the Foreign Office in London on July 23, 2015.

Until the formation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition following the May 2010 general election, Verma was an Opposition Whip and Conservative Spokesperson in the House of Lords on Education and Skills and for Health. In 2010 she became a Government Whip and Spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, International Development, and Equalities and Women's Issues.[9]

She was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Energy and Climate Change from 2012 to 2015, and then for International Development from May 2015 to July 2016.[10][11][12]

When the new Theresa May ministry was formed in July 2016, following the resignation of David Cameron, Verma was not included in it.

Verma was adopted as the Conservative candidate for the position of directly elected Mayor of Leicester in 2019.[13] She lost to Labour's Peter Soulsby, coming second with 14,519 votes compared to Sir Peter's 51,444 votes. Later that year she as Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas, was chosen to chair the UN Women's national committee for three years.[2]

In September 2020 Verma apologised for not consulting the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments before taking a directorship in a family firm which made solar power contracts with the controversial Government of Uganda led by General Yoweri Museveni.[14] However, she denied any wrongdoing and stated “I am truly sorry for my misunderstanding of the rules which I accept is my failing and sincerely hope that the committee will accept my deepest regret at this failure. I would not deliberately disrespect the rules and sincerely apologise to the committee”.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Birthdays". The Guardian. 30 June 2014. p. 33.
  2. ^ a b News, Asian Lite (26 September 2018). "Baroness Verma New Chair for UN Women NC UK". Local News for British Asian and Indian Community in London. Retrieved 30 June 2019. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  3. ^ a b c Addley, Esther (22 September 2003). "Sandip Verma talks to Esther Addley". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  4. ^ "RANA, Sandip K, & VERMA Ashok, in Register of Marriages for Leicester C Registration District, vol. 6 (1977), p. 1900
  5. ^ "The India League".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Politics | the Guardian". TheGuardian.com.
  7. ^ "No. 58004". The London Gazette. 7 June 2006. p. 7793.
  8. ^ House of Lords (22 June 2006). "Announcement of her introduction at the House of Lords". minutes of proceedings. Retrieved 28 October 2006.
  9. ^ "Baroness Verma". Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Ministers". gov.uk.
  11. ^ "Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Development Baroness Verma". gov.uk.
  12. ^ "Sandip Verma @Baroness_Verma". Twitter.
  13. ^ Andrew Hill, Labour Desperate as Political Competition Heats Up Ahead of Local Elections dated March 24, 2019 at leicesterpropertyinsight.co.uk, accessed 18 April 2019
  14. ^ a b Syal, Rajeev (13 October 2020). "Tory peer apologises for ministerial rule breach in Uganda deals". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2020.