Virendra Sharma - virendra Sharma wa born in India in 1947 and educated at the London School of Economics on a trade union scholarship. He speaks fluent Punjab Hindi and Urdu. He is a high caste Brahmin Hindu and is married with a grown-up son and daughter and three grandchildren.
Sharma came to Hanwell from India in 1968 and became a bus conductor on the 207 route, later working as a day services manager for people with learning disabilities in Hillingdon. He started his political career by joining the Liberal Party, them switched to Labor in later years. He was Race Equalities Officer to the Labor Party nationally.
He was a local councilor in the London Borough of Ealing from 1982-2010 and was Mayor for part of his time as councilor. He was criticized and stood down as a local councilor at 2010 local elections.
Sharma is currently also a school governor at the Three Bridges and Wolf Fields schools.
Virendra Sharma was elected as MP in the Ealing Southall by-election, held on 19 July 2007. The by-election was called following the death of the sitting Labor MP, Piara Khabra on 19 June 2007. Sharma held on to the seat at the 2010 General Election.
In November 2008, the Labor Government gave Sharma the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary on the Minister of State at the Treasury and Home Office, Phil Woolas MP, who had responsibility for borders and immigration. Sharma resigned from this post in January 2009 in protest at his opposition the Labor government’s proposal to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Sharma is a member of the parliamentary select committees on Health, Human Rights and International Development. He has made official overseas visits as an MP to Cyprus, Kenya Various regions of India, Mauritius and South Korea. He is Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils. He supported David Miliband in the 2010 Labor leadership election.
In September 2011, Sharma was investigated by the Electoral Commission, over a 5,000 donation allegedly made by the Indian Tourist Board and not declared in the Parliamentary register of members’ interests. Sharma strenuously denied receiving the donation “I have never received a donation from India tourism and have therefore never been liable to make a declaration in the Parliamentary register of members’ interests”. Virendra Sharma was ultimately cleared of any wrong doing in December 2011.
As a new MP in 2008, Sharma had signed a letter drafted by Keith Vaz on behalf of Shahrokh Mireskandari, for which Vaz was criticized for not declaring his relationship with the Miskanderi family. Sharma said that Vaz had not informed him of the relationship and that he would “be more questioning before I sign a letter in future”.