Virendra Sharma was elected as MP in the Ealing Southall by-election on 19 July 2007. The by-election was called following the death of the sitting Labour MP, Piara Khabra. Virendra Sharma’s arrival in Parliament was the end of one long chapter of public service and the beginning of another, and since then he has been re-elected in 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019. He has featured in the top ten list of best MPs in the UK, ranked 8th out of 650 for his openness and responsiveness to constituents.
Virendra Sharma was born in India and speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. He is married with a grown-up son and daughter and three grandchildren. He served as a councillor in Ealing for 25 years including a term as Mayor and was a list candidate for the GLA in 2004. Throughout Virendra’s public life, he has been guided by a strong belief in social justice and fairness, remaining closely committed to a vision of society based on secularism and genuine equality.
The grandfather-of-three came to Hanwell from India in 1968 and started out as a bus conductor on the 207 route before studying at London School of Economics on a Trade Union Scholarship. He has worked in many areas within the voluntary sector as well as National Ethnic Minorities Officer for the Labour Party between 1986 and 1992. Virendra also held various positions in local government throughout his twenty-five years serving as a local councillor, including Chair of Housing, Chair of Personnel and Chair of the Race Equality Committee.
During his time in Parliament, Virendra has served as a member of the Health Select Committee for five years, the Joint Committee on Human Rights for seven years and continues to be a long serving member of the International Development Select Committee.
Virendra is linked with various education, social and environmental projects and currently chairs the Indo-British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), the Nepal APPG, the Honour Based Abuse APPG and the Global Tuberculosis APPG. He is also Vice-Chair of the APPG for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and British Council (South Asia) and of Extreme Poverty.
His fellow MPs elected him to join the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and represent British interests in Europe, where his work has focussed on human rights and anti-discrimination. In 2008/2009 Virendra served the Labour Government as PPS to the Minister of State at the Home Office.
In Parliament I have long campaigned for recognition of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, and you can see more about that here.