The Conservative Friends of India members award Her Excellency Gaitri Issar Kumar (third from left), the outgoing Indian high commissioner to UK. (Picture: The Conservative Friends of India)
THE Conservative Friends of India recently held a farewell reception in honour of the outgoing high commissioner of India, Her Excellency Gaitri Kumar Issar.
High commissioner Issar began her service in May 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. She not only represented the high commission at the best of her capacity at a difficult time but also took a lead in championing relations post Covid. Her tenure included a number of high-profile virtual engagements, including with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the virtual JETCO (UK-India Joint Economic and Trade Committee) summit.
The chief guest at the reception ceremony was Sajid Javid, secretary of state for health. He praised the role the outgoing high commissioner played in strengthening bilateral relations, particularly during the pandemic. High commissioner Issar was particularly instrumental in securing British support for India during its deadly wave last spring.
Other guests at the event included members of parliament Paul Scully (minister for London), Bob Blackman, Theresa Villiers and David Simmons.
Akshata Murthy, wife of chancellor Rishi Sunak also attended the reception.
Co-chairs Ameet Jogia MBE and Reena Ranger paid tribute for the High Commissioner’s support for the Conservative Friends of India – both for virtual and in-person events.
The high commissioner’s event was the largest reception held at Conservative Party conference last year.
Director Nayaz Qazi gave the vote of thanks and CF (Conservative Friends) India Patron Lord Ranger presented her excellency with an award for her service to the UK.
Acting high commissioner Surjit Ghosh will represent the Indian High Commission until further notice. Vikram Doraiswami, the current Indian ambassador to Bangladesh, is set to succeed Kumar.