Knighthood for Sajid Javid in New Year’s Honours List

Sajid Javid (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarwar Alam

Former chancellor and home secretary Sajid Javid led the way with a knighthood as a number of British Asians were recognised for their achievements in the New Year’s Honours List announced today (29).

Javid has been MP for Bromsgrove for 13 years. In that time, the former banker, has had a distinguished career in politics serving under three different prime ministers in six different Cabinet posts, including culture secretary, business secretary, housing secretary and health secretary.

He revealed last year that he would be standing down as an MP at the next general election.

On his knighthood, Javid told Eastern Eye: “It’s a tremendous honour. I wish my late father was here to see it.

“I’m deeply humbled to be recognised in this way. It’s a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of everyone I’ve worked with in public service.”

With doctors, politicians, educators, authors, community leaders, equality and diversity champions and philanthropists among the 13.8 per cent of recipients coming from an ethnic minority background, the list showcases the immense contribution British Asians make to the nation.

Among the 7.4 per cent of recipients from a south Asian background is professor Amritpal Singh Hungin who received a knighthood for services to medicine.

Currently an emeritus professor of general practice at Newcastle University, Hungin’s career spans over 30 years, much of it in clinical research, working across primary and secondary care.

He is a former president of the British Medical Association (BMA) and in his role as trustee and treasurer of the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund, he led a commission (The Changing Face of Medicine) to visualise and prepare clinicians for their roles in a challenging and fast moving scientific and social environment.

Banker and philanthropist, Naguib Kheraj, received a CBE for his services to business and the economy.

In a highly successful banking career, Kheraj spent 12 years at Barclays, serving as group finance director and vice-chairman and in various other business leadership positions.

He was also CEO of JP Morgan Cazenove, a London-based investment banking business and deputy chairman of Standard Chartered.

Kheraj is currently chairman of Rothesay Life, a specialist pensions insurer, and chairman of Petershill Partners, an asset management company.

He is also a member of the finance committee at the University of Cambridge and an independent board member of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Naguib Kheraj pic credit: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Kheraj could have easily been awarded the CBE for his philanthropic work.

He told Eastern Eye that he stopped his full-time executive career in 2011 to focus on his work for the Ismaili community.

Kheraj spends a substantial time as a senior advisor to the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and serves on the boards of various entities within the AKDN, including the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia, and is chairman of the AKDN Endowment Committee.

“The Agha Khan, his highness is both a religious leader and also a philanthropist and community leader. He sponsors a very big development network globally that operates in over 25 countries and it’s in some of the poorest parts of the world in Central Asia, South Asia and Africa,” Kheraj told Eastern Eye.

“We work across many different domains, that includes rural development, sanitation, water, education, healthcare, cultural heritage preservation, and many more different fields. We have 90,000 employees in the system globally.

“I work across many of these different organisations the Aga Khan sponsors and and also work on the financial planning and financial management of that work.”

When asked where he got the desire to give back, Kheraj said: “In my family, for generations we’ve had a tradition of service.

“It’s also a huge part my faith. It’s not just my faith but all faiths speak  same concepts of looking after those less fortunate than you are, sharing the benefit of your wealth with others – they are very central tenets of every single faith around the world.

“They happen to also be important tenets of the Ismaili faith and Muslim faith more generally. But I don’t think it matters whether you’re Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, every religion basically propagates the same idea of using your education and your capability for the benefit of others.”

Of the 1,227 people who receive an award, 588 women were recognised in the List, representing 48 per cent of the total.

This year’s Honours list had a focus on those who have given with generosity to others in need with individuals being recognised for being dedicated community champions, role models in sport, pioneers in the arts, passionate health workers, and supporters of young people.

Meena Nagpaul, clinical director at Harrow East Primary Care Network, is one of those passionate health workers recognised.

As a GP, alongside her husband Chaand Nagpaul – who is a former head of the BMA – Meena has been serving the community in Harrow fro almost 30 years.

Their Honeypot Medical Centre in Stanmore has a patient cohort made-up of two-thirds from an Asian background.

Meena Nagpaul

They were one of the first to setup a COVID vaccination centres in north-west London and we delivered over 60,000 vaccinations in the height of the pandemic.

Meena also led in the set up of the first virtual ward in Harrow East. The ward involves a team of specialists and a multidisciplinary team going and  delivering care to patients homes. It’s designed for older, frail patients, and avoiding them having to be admitted into hospital.

“I’m deeply honoured and touched to receive this award. As a GP it’s been a privilege to have cared for my community of ethnically diverse patients in Harrow East for over 29 years,” Meena told Eastern Eye.

“Our Asian population were disproportionately affected by COVID, so it’s particularly important to have culturally sensitive care. We have other inequalities within our ethnically diverse population and we have created a lot of initiatives to improve health promotion, such as increasing childhood immunisation and cervical screening in ethnic groups where there’s been a much lower uptake.”

She added: “This award is a reflection of the support and dedication of an amazing team of staff, colleagues and volunteers at Honeypot Medical Centre and Harrow East Primary Care Network, where together we strive to make a positive difference to the health and lives of our patients and our local community.”

Another prominent female on this year’s list is Moni Mannings, who received and OBE for services to cultural philanthropy, business and charity.

After a 30-year career in law, Mannings launched EPOC (Empowering People of Colour) in 2021, an organisation aimed at increasing diversity on the UK’s private, public and not-for-profit boardrooms.

EPOC is a peer-to-peer network that puts high-potential leaders of colour seeking board opportunities in front of chairs and the key decision-makers looking to create more inclusive organisations.

Moni Mannings

Mannings uses her wealth of experience gained from holding numerous non-executive director positions, including at Polypipe Group, Dairy Crest Group, Breedon Group, Investec Bank and Cazoo Group.

She currently sits on the board of  Hargreaves Lansdown, Landsec and Easyjet.

“I feel honoured to be recognised for the work that I’ve been doing to advance the increase in people of colour on in boardrooms,” Mannings told Eastern Eye.

“It’s quite straightforward to me, we live in a society in the UK where just under one-fifth of the population are people of colour. But when you look at the governing bodies of pretty much any organisation in this country, whether it’s the biggest FTSE companies, public sector bodies, charities, sports bodies, cultural bodies, regulatory bodies, they just don’t reflect the society that they serve in terms of ethnic diversity.

“It’s important to me that the best of us, those most capable and skilled, are in all the spaces which make decisions about our lives.”

Sanjay Bhandari, chair of football anti-discrimination charity, Kick it Out, was also recognised for his work in equality, diversity and inclusion.

Bhandari has had a 30 year business career in law, technology and compliance including 12 years as a partner at international consultancy business EY where he was actively involved in company’s diversity and inclusion strategies, sponsoring and leading many of their award winning race and ethnicity activities.

Sanjay Bhandari

He is also a board member at the Lawn Tennis Association and Greater Sport (the Local Active Partnership for Greater Manchester) and is part of the government-sponsored Parker review into the ethnic diversity of UK boards (focusing on FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies).

Previously, Bhandari was a member of the Premier League’s Equality Standard Independent Panel for four years.

Bhandari told Eastern Eye that his own life journey plays a key part in his desire to help others succeed.

“It’s just about trying to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed no matter what their background,” Bhandari said.

“The fact that I came from quite a poor background was probably even more of a battle than then the disadvantages of race. Class disadvantages were even more stark and I always felt lucky that I had interventions from teachers suggesting that I should apply to scholarships for schools, or I should apply to go to this university and I was lucky that when I heard that I acted on them.

“I want to make sure that other people also have these same opportunities because my life could have been very different if other people hadn’t made those interventions for me.”

He added: “It’s getting much harder for people from poorer backgrounds to succeed because the I think the opportunities are getting less and less. Talent is distributed evenly but opportunities are not.”

Bhandari said this applies across football as well, saying: “There is a stark lack of representation of South Asians in British football.

“If you assume that talent is distributed evenly but opportunity isn’t, then we need to address that lack of opportunity given to Asians.”

One person who has managed to reach the top of English football is Arsenal CEO, Vinai Venkatesham, who received an OBE for services to sport.

Venkatesham joined the north London club in 2010 having previously worked with the British Olympic Association and the London 2012 Games.

Alongside co-chair Josh Kroenke, manager Mikel Arteta, Venkatesham has overseen a resurgence in Arsenal that has seen them challenge for the premier league title last season and again this season.

He has also been a champion of women’s football, saying last year the club’s long-term ambition is for the women’s team to share the Emirates Stadium permanently with the men’s side.

Vinai Venkatesham

“I was blown away actually but pleased to get the (Honours) letter,” Venkatesham told Eastern Eye.

“Everything I’ve done in my career has always been as part of working in brilliant teams, to get this kind of an individual award, in some ways, feels a bit strange.

“I guess its recognition of the amazing teams I’ve been part of  throughout my almost 20 years in sport across lots of different organisations, whether that is Arsenal, the Olympics and Paralympics in London, World Athletics Championships in London in 2017.”

Venkatesham has strived to ensure Arsenal football club’s represents its diverse fan-base.

“For our supporters and our staff, having diversity right at the top of the football club is important. But it’s not just me, we have a very diverse executive team with 50/50 male, female split.

“As a football club, we take diversity and inclusion really seriously because we believe that diverse organisations perform better and ultimately, we’re a football club in London, which means we have a very diverse fan base and we should be representing the fan base that we’re here to serve.”

British Asians in the New Year Honours List




Emeritus Professor of General Practice, Newcastle University. For services to Medicine


Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove. For Political and Public Service

Order of the British Empire

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

Dr Chandra Mohan KANNEGANTI General Practitioner, Goldenhill Medical Centre, Stoke-on-Trent. For services to General Practice

Naguib KHERAJ Chair, Rothesay Limited. For services to Business and to the Economy

Dr Mala RAO OBE Senior Clinical Fellow, Imperial College London. For services to Public Health, the NHS, and to Equality and Diversity (Colchester, Essex)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

Baldev Parkash BHARDWAJ For services to the community in Oldbury, West Midlands

Dr Dipankar DATTA Chair, South Asia Voluntary Enterprise. For services to Charity

Mahboob HUSSAIN JP For services to the community in Buckinghamshire

Salim Hassanali Moledina JANMOHAMED For charitable and voluntary services to Faith Communities

Munir PATEL Chief Executive Officer, XRAIL Group. For services to Rail Exports

Dr Shriti PATTANI Lately President, The Society of Occupational Medicine. For services to Occupational Health

Rajwinder SINGH Principal Project Sponsor, Prison Infrastructure Team, Ministry of Justice. For Public Service

Ushaben Ladwa THOMAS Race Adviser, Welsh Government. For services to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities

Vinaichandra Guduguntla VENKATESHAM Chief Executive Officer, Arsenal Football Club. For services to Sport

Zehra ZAIDI For services to International Development, to Humanitarian Action and to Community Cohesion

Members of the Order of the British Empire

Taslima Parveen AHMAD Founder, Creative Design and Manufacture UK. For services to Disadvantaged People and to the Minority Ethnic Community

Shabnam AHMED BUTT Lead for Adult Safeguarding, Camden London Borough Council. For services to Social Care

Tajinder Kaur BANWAIT Founder, Urban Apothecary London. For services to Business and to the Beauty Industry

Dr Sanjay BHANDARI Chair, Kick It Out. For services to Sport

Dr Manav BHAVSAR Lately Clinical Lead, Critical Care. For services to Healthcare, particularly during Covid-19

Chitraleka BOLAR Dancer, Choreographer and Teacher. For services to South Asian Dance

Nilesh Bhasker DOSA Founder, icanyoucantoo. For services to Social Equality

Dr Dinendra Singh GILL For services to Pre-Hospital and Trauma Care in Wales

Dr Gian Parkash GOPAL Founder, Oxford Hindu Temple and Community Centre Project. For services to the Hindu Community and to Multi-Faith Cohesion in Oxfordshire

Permjit GOSAL (PAM GOSAL) MSP Member of the Scottish Parliament for West Scotland. For services to Business, to Racial Equality and to Charity in Milton Keynes

Zahid HAMID Lately Member, Peak District National Park Authority. For services to National Parks

Dr Muhayman JAMIL Founder, Wheels and Wheelchairs. For services to People with Disabilities

Rizwan JAVED Station Assistant, MTR Elizabeth Line. For services to Vulnerable People

Jasdeep Hari Bhajan Singh KHALSA Founder, The Sikher Project. For charitable services to the Sikh Community

Mohammed Gulam Moula MIAH Chairman, Rajnagar Business Group and Moula Foundation. For services to the Bangladeshi Community and to Charity

Huda Yassin MOHAMED Female Genital Mutilation Specialist Lead Midwife, Whittington Health NHS Trust. For services to Midwifery

Dr Meenakshi NAGPAUL (Meena Thakur) General Practitioner, Honeypot Medical Centre and Clinical Director, Harrow East Primary Care Network. For services to the NHS

Satish Manilal PARMAR Senior Policy Adviser, Department for Work and Pensions. For Public Service

Imran Adam PATEL For services to the community in Blackburn, Lancashire

Jayshree RAJKOTIA Trustee and Vice Chair, Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan, Institute of Indian Art and Culture. For services to Indian Culture

Sadia SADIQ Manager, Community Care and Wellbeing Services. For services to Minority Ethnic Communities in Wales

Yassamin SHEEL National Lead, United Teaching, Greater Manchester. For services to Children

Savraj Singh SHETRA Field Intelligence Officer, Home Office. For Public Service

Dr Hamsaraj Gundal Mahabala SHETTY Consultant Physician, University Hospital of Wales. For services to Stroke Services in Wales

Nirmal SINGH Chaplain, North West Prisons HM Prison and Probation Service. For services to Community Development and Interfaith Integration

Dr Muhammad Saleem Khan TAREEN Psychiatrist, Northern Health and Social Care Trust. For services to Mental Ill Health and to Community Development in Northern Ireland

Suman VOHRA Vice Chair, Edinburgh Hindu Mandir and Cultural Centre. For services to the community in Edinburgh

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire

Dr Jahangir ALOM Doctor and Campaigner, NHS. For services to Tackling Health Inequalities, particularly during Covid-19

Waqas ARSHAD Chair, Bradley Big Local. For services to Families with Mental Health Issues in Lancashire

Saeqa ASHRAF For services to Law Enforcement

Chandra Shekhar BIYANI Consultant Urological Surgeon, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. For services to Medical Education

Asad Mehmood BUTT Volunteer, Chance to Shine. For services to Young People and to the community in the London Borough of Croydon

Harbaksh Singh GREWAL Vice Chair, UK Punjab Heritage Association. For services to Punjabi and Sikh Heritage, and to Charity

Sundeep KAUR Director, United Sikhs. For services to the community in the West Midlands during Covid-19

Azam Ahmed KHAN Executive Officer, Department for Work and Pensions and Founder, The Akhirah Team. For Charitable Services

Mubarak Hussain MAHMED Wellbeing and Engagement Coordinator, First Bus North and West Yorkshire. For services to Mental Health

Moez Kass Amali NATHU Chief Executive, Peterborough Asylum and Refugee Community Association. For services to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Peterborough

Sukhdev Singh PHULL Engineer, Department for Transport. For services to Transport Technology and for charitable services through the Ekom Charity Trust

Mahbubur RAHMAN For services to Charity and to the community in Oldham, Greater Manchester

Rehana Khanam RAHMAN For services to the Bangladeshi Community

Sanjay SHAMBHU Councillor, South Gloucestershire Council and Chair, BAME Conservatives. For Political Service

Versha SOOD-MAHINDRA Lately Dementia Lead, BUPA. For services to Community Cohesion and to People with Dementia in Cardiff