|Member of Parliament |
for Ealing Southall
|Assumed office |
19 July 2007
|Preceded by||Piara Khabra|
|Born||5 April 1947|
Mandhali, British Punjab
Nirmala Sharma (m. 1968)
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
Sharma came to Hanwell from India in 1968 and became a bus conductor on the 207 route, later working as a day services manager for people with learning disabilities in Hillingdon. He began his political career by joining the Liberal Party, then switched to Labour in later years. He was Race Equalities Officer to the Labour Party nationally.
He was a local councillor in the London Borough of Ealing from 1982–2010 and was Mayor for part of his time as councillor. He was criticised by councillors from other political parties for his level of attendance at council meetings and stood down as a local councillor at the 2010 local elections.
Virendra Sharma was elected as MP in the Ealing Southall by-election, held on 19 July 2007. The by-election was called following the death of the sitting Labour MP, Piara Khabra on 19 June 2007. Sharma held on to the seat at the 2010 General Election. As a new MP in 2008, Sharma had signed a letter drafted by Keith Vaz on behalf of Shahrokh Mireskandari, for which Vaz was criticised for not declaring his relationship with the Miskanderi family. Sharma said that Vaz had not informed him of the relationship and that he would "be more questioning before I sign a letter in future".
In November 2008, the Labour government gave Sharma the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State at the Treasury and Home Office, Phil Woolas, who had responsibility for borders and immigration. Sharma resigned from this post in January 2009 in opposition the Labour government's proposal to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Sharma is a member of the parliamentary select committees on Health, Human Rights and International Development. He has made official overseas visits as an MP to Cyprus, Kenya, regions of India, Mauritius and South Korea. He is Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. He supported David Miliband in the 2010 Labour leadership election.
In September 2011, Sharma was investigated by the Electoral Commission, over a £5,000 donation allegedly made by the Indian Tourist Board and not declared in the Parliamentary register of members' interests. Sharma strenouously denied receiving the donation: "I have never received a donation from Indiatourism and have therefore never been liable to make a declaration in the Parliamentary register of members' interests". Virendra Sharma was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in December 2011.
In 2016, in a U-turn on his previous stance, Sharma announced that he now supported Heathrow expansion.
Private life and Honours
Sharma has been married to Nirmala since 1968, with a grown-up son and daughter and three grandchildren. He is currently a school governor at the Three Bridges and Wolf Fields schools.
In June 2018, Sharma was inducted into Power Brands: Hall of Fame - U.K. at London International Forum for Equality
- "Mr Virendra Sharma MP". UK Parliament.
- "Bio". Virendra Sharma MP.
- "Virendra Sharma MP". BBC Democracy Live. BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
- "UKPollingReport Election Guide 2010 » Ealing Southall".
- "Opinion". 16 March 2016 – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Virendra Sharma MP, Ealing, Southall". TheyWorkForYou.
- Syal, Rajeev (21 September 2008). "Vaz urged to quit key Commons job". Observer. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- "Virendra Sharma celebrates promotion". Ealing Times.
- "House of Commons - Register Of All-Party Groups as at 30 July 2015 : Tamils". publications.parliament.uk.
- Walker, Tim (15 September 2011). "Labour MP Virendra Sharma's party is checked out by the Electoral Commission". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- Gates, James (30 September 2013) [23 December 2011]. "Election watchdog clears Southall MP Sharma". Get West London. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
- "I quit government over Heathrow expansion: This is why I changed my mind". City AM. 16 August 2016.
- "Virendra Sharma, other Labour MPs to vote against Brexit bill". hindustantimes.com/. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- "Who's Who". 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.246106.
- Virendra Sharma site
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 2010–present
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- UK Parliament Website: details of Sharma's parliamentary expenses
- 'Ealing Times' newspaper column written by Sharma and other Ealing MPs until 2008
- UK Polling Report: Ealing Southall profile including detail on Sharma
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall