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Ram Gidoomal stepped into the mayoral race of London


Millionaire NRI, Ram Gidoomal stepped into the mayoral race of London as a candidate for the Christian Peoples Allianc


London 14, 2004
Asha Singh

Millionaire businessman of Indian origin, Ram Gidoomal stepped into the mayoral race as a candidate for the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA) , a Christian democratic party. Gidoomal said, "The Asian vote is certainly important, not only numerically but also because the community has some of Britain's most impressive entrepreneurs and business leaders."

He arrived in the UK in 1967 as a 16-year-old refugee from Kenya and within six months was the owner of six shops. In 1992 he stepped down as vice-chairman of a company worth some £130m and employing 7,000 people, announcing that he would be concentrating his time and wealth on charitable work and community business projects.

In 1988, while on a business trip to India, Raml was taken to see Mumbai's Dharavi slums, the largest in Asia. The experience changed him and he decided to devote himself to the voluntary and public sectors.

On being asked about his specific plans for the non-white population in London, Gidoomal said: "One issue that needs addressing is social isolation. I will deal with factors that promote loneliness among the non-white population, such as language problems."

As a student, he began to read the Bible and became a follower of Jesus Christ - thus he is someone born into a Hindu family, raised in the Sikh faith, educated at a Muslim school and now a member of the Christian church.

Gidoomal was elected leader of the CPA in 2000, and stood in the first mayoral elections, winning almost 100,000 votes. The Christian Peoples Alliance has adopted Mr Gidoomal as the top candidate on its list for the Greater London Assembly. The party's ticket includes tackling discrimination and regeneration for the inner city areas of the capital. It hopes to appeal to members from all religions, as well as those from none. But it also seeks to ensure “recognition of Christ's sovereignty over the nations and in politics” and the “respect of God's law as the basis for constitutional government and a stable society”.

Statements by Ken Livingstone and Simon Hughes MP saying they would like to see Ram Gidoomal elected to the London Assembly have been welcomed by the Christian Peoples Alliance party leader. Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat mayoral candidates have both now gone on the record as saying it would be good for London if Ram is elected. Ken Livingstone told students from universities across the capital that he wanted both Darren Johnson of the Green Party and Ram Gidoomal CBE of the CPA to cross the 5% threshold for an Assembly seat. His statement was welcomed by Ram:

"All the Mayoral candidates are urging Londoners to go out and vote in order to keep the British National Party out of the Assembly. I agree with Ken when he says that the more people who vote, the less chance the BNP will get in. I also welcome his supportive statement as a recognition of the fact that London's Assembly has no Asian elected onto it, even though 1 million live in the capital. Going from just under 4% won by the CPA in 2000, to 5% on June 10th would address this and also send a powerful signal to the racists."

Commenting on Mayor Livingstone's remarks, the Student President of St George's Hospital Medical School, David Dean, said :

"From what I heard at the hustings, it is now difficult to distinguish the main players. Traditional party politics has disillusioned and disenfranchised students. I welcome the entry into politics of people who will put principles first and I am confident that Ram Gidoomal will do that."

Earlier in the GLA campaign, Liberal Democrat candidate, Simon Hughes MP, praised Ram's contribution to London in Third Way magazine and said he would like to see Ram elected:

"He is a good and honourable man and I hope he gets enough votes to be on the Assembly, which would be good."

Of candidates running for the Christian Peoples Alliance, 35% are from London's ethnic minorities and 41% are women.


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