BRITAIN’S home secretary, Sajid Javid, the first Asian to hold the prestigious post, won the top honour at the GG2 Leadership Awards in London last evening (24).
Javid, who is of British-Pakistani heritage and was appointed home secretary in April, was presented the coveted GG2 Hammer Award for shattering through the proverbial glass ceiling.
It was an evening of dual celebrations for Javid, who also topped the GG2 Power List – a compilation of the 101 most powerful Asians in the UK – the latest edition of which was launched during event in central London.
Policeman Neil Basu, who leads Britain’s counter terrorism operations, Labour MP David Lammy and Professor Neena Modi, known for her work in neonatal medicine and paediatrics, were among top winners on the night, which was the 20th anniversary of the awards.
Launched two decades ago, the GG2 Leadership Awards celebrate high achievers among minority communities in Britain.
They are hosted by the Asian Media Group (AMG), publishers of Garavi Gujarat and Eastern Eye newsweeklies. This year marks the 50th anniversary of AMG, and guests at the event heard how the founder and editor-in-chief Ramniklal Solanki CBE started Garavi Gujarat on April 1, 1968 from his home in Wembley, along with his wife Parvatiben Solanki.
In total, 14 awards were presented on the night.
Among the winners were:
Solicitor Imran Khan QC, who fought for justice in the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and is currently involved with the Grenfell fire inquiry; Dame Pratibha Gai, professor and chair of electron microscopy at the University of York; Professor Jaspal Kooner, Cardiologist and Professor of Clinical Cardiology at Imperial College, London, for his work studying why south Asians are more prone to heart disease and Dr Priyanka Joshi, research fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge, for her pioneering work on Alzheimer’s Disease.
Group managing director of AMG, Kalpesh Solanki, outlined the case for embracing diversity, but noted that there were challenges still. He also paid tribute to the earlier generations of migrants whose sacrifices helped minority communities today.
This year’s GG2 Power List includes London mayor Sadiq Khan ranked second, followed by Neil Basu, court of appeals judge Rabinder Singh and the actor Riz Ahmed in fifth place.
Shailesh Solanki, executive editor of AMG, praised the “exceptional” winners, remarking how they have become inspirational role model for their communities in the UK.
“Our nominees and winners have shown tremendous achievements which have made a positive impact on the country,” he said.
He added: “Sajid Javid is an incredible role model to young people all over the country and has been a fantastic Home Secretary. He is indeed a very worthy winner of our top honour, the GG2 Hammer Award. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of this year’s awards and to all who have established themselves in this year’s GG2 Power List.”
Broadcaster June Sarpong was the presenter of the awards ceremony, attended by 750 guests.
Earlier in the day, the GG2 Diversity Conference heard from a range of speakers about race, identity and the gender pay gap, among other issues.
Delegates included Nishma Robb of Google; Sir Charlie Mayfield of the John Lewis Partnership, Judge Anuja Dhir and Ravi Chand.
- Copies of the GG2 Power List are available to purchase for £51. To order a copy, call Saurin Shah on 020 7654 7737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Full coverage of the GG2 Leadership Awards will be featured in next week’s Eastern Eye (November 2)
Full list of GG2 Leadership Award winners
GG2 Spirit in the Community Award
Mouhssin Ismail, principal, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre
GG2 Young Journalist of the Year
Ellena Cruse, reporter, Ilford Recorder
GG2 Media & Creative Arts Award
Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, Artistic Director, Young Vic Theatre
GG2 Inspire Award
Naheed Afzal, Co-Founder and Director, Contracts IT
GG2 Achievement through Adversity (presented jointly to three winners)
Muzoon Almellehan, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
Dr Tirej Brimo, Foundation Doctor, University Hospital of North Midlands
Allan Hennessy, Frank Knox Fellow at Harvard Law School
GG2 Young Achiever Award
Dr Priyanka Joshi, Research Fellow, Downing College, University of Cambridge
GG2 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medicine
Professor Jaspal Kooner, cardiologist and professor of clinical cardiology at Imperial College London
GG2 Outstanding Achievement in Law
Imran Khan QC, Partner at Imran Khan & Partners
GG2 Pride of Britain Award
Dame Pratibha Gai, professor and chair of electron microscopy at the University of York
Eastern Eye Editor’s Award
Harris Bokhari OBE, Founder of the Patchwork Foundation
GG2 Editor’s Award
David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham
GG2 Woman of the Year award
Neena Modi, professor of Neonatal Medicine at Imperial College London and president of the Royal College of Paediatrics
GG2 Man of the Year Award
Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
GG2 Hammer Award
Sajid Javid, home secretary