Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather
Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather (born 13 February 1934) is a British-Indian politician, teacher and life peer.
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. 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.
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. She was also shortlisted for the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award in 2015 for her outspoken work on women's rights, and she remains in the directory of the Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who publication.
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. She lives in Maidenhead with her husband.
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. 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. Labour Party MP Michael Dugher condemned her and said that her views were unacceptable.
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. 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."
Shreela Flather, Baroness Flather of Windsor and Maidenhead (1934– ) is the first Hindu woman in British politics. She has described herself as a "Hindu atheist". Broadly, she is an atheist with affinity to secular aspects of Hindu culture such as dress and diet.
Family and Personal life
The Baroness is the great-granddaughter of Sir Ganga Ram, a noted engineer, philanthropist and agriculturist during the late 19th century and early 20th century in Punjab, British India. She is is married to Gary Denis Flather.
Woman Acceptable Exploitation For Profit (2010) ISBN 978-1-84995-002-2
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- BBC News
- "Baroness Flather accused of 'bigotry' over her views on marriages in Pakistani community".
- Bedi, Baba Pyare Lal, Harvest from the desert. The life and work of Sir Ganga Ram, NCA, Lahore 2003 ISBD 969-8623-07-8 (reprint version) pg xvii