London 14, 2004
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
"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
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.