Bashir's CV

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Bashir's CV

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Bashir Khanbhai (B.Pharm(Lon), MA(Oxon) has experience in industry (pharmaceutical, plastic, timber & tourism), financial services and politics in Europe. As the former UK Conservative Member of the European Parliament (Eastern Region), he has helped in formulating European Union policies, participated at International Conferences and published many articles on International Development Aid, Health & Biotechnology, EU Industry & SMEs, Communication Technology, peace in the Middle East, Interfaith relations, Islam and Muslims in Europe.


DOB: 22nd September, 1945      WIFE: Maria      SON:  Hamid



·        School of Pharmacy, University of London: B.Pharm(Hons) 1966

·        Balliol College, University of Oxford: M.A.(Hons) Philosophy, Politics & Economics 1969

·        President of Jowett Society (Philosophy): Edited “Jowett Papers” (Blackwell’s)

·        Knowledge of basic French & Spanish



·        Manufacturer of medicines, disinfectants, insecticides, toothpaste, polishes, & aerosols.

·        Manufacturer of plastic containers and caps.

·        Pharmaceutical wholesaler and retailer.

·        Saw milling for production of hardwood parquet flooring.

·        Tour & travel agency.

·        Export & Import.

·        Financial services including investments.



·        Past Chairman of the Governors of the White Oak CP Infant School, Swanley, Kent.

·        Past Governor of High Firs CP School, Swanley, Kent.

·        Past President of the Rotary Club.

·        Member of the Consultative Council, Greenwich University, London.



·        Conservative Candidate for Norwich South: General Elections 1997

·        Conservative Member of European Parliament for Eastern Region 1999-2004

·        Member of Budgetary Control Committee & Raporteur for EU Banks (ECB, EIB & EBRD)

·        Member: Industry, External Trade, Research & Energy Committee, European Parliament.

·        Member: Development & Co-operation Committee, European Parliament.

·        Coordinator for PPE-ED Group for Joint Parliamentary Assembly of EU & African, Caribbean & Pacific Countries

·        Vice President of European Parliament SME Global

·        President of European Parliament Ethnic SME Union

·        Member of European Parliament Delegation to Georgia, Armenia & Azerbaijan

·        Member: European Parliament Delegation to Palestine

·        Member of UK Foreign Office Mission to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco & Tunisia

·        Leader of European Parliament Delegation to Ethiopia (to assess the famine)

·        Leader of European Parliament Delegation to Mauritania (to assess the economy including fisheries)

·        Columnist for New Europe Newspaper (weekly newspaper) published for circulation in EU

·        Speaker at numerous International & EU Conferences on Pharmaceutical Industry, SMEs, Biotechnology, International Development, Renewable Energy, Interfaith relations & Islam, Politics in the Middle East.

·        EU Parliamentary Rapporteur for “Combating Communicable Diseases: HIV/AIDS, TB, MALARIA”; “The Impact of Information Communication Technology on SMEs”; “EU:India Economic Partnership Agreement”; “”Agricultural policy, agrarian reform & rural economic development”.



·        Comparative economic analysis of UK and major EU partners

·        Economic assessment of EU’s single market

·        Economic analysis of the EU pharmaceutical industry & distribution of medicines

·        Promoting Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

·        Information technology & telecommunications

·        Crackdown on mismanagement & fraud in European Institutions.

·        External Trade & WTO.

·        Environment including waste management

·        Biotechnology

·        Renewable energy

·        Sustainable development through self-reliance for developing countries

·        Peace and prosperity in the Middle East.



Articles published in Contemporary Oxford Review, National & regional Newspapers, EU newspapers & magazines & monthly newsletters. Newsletters and Articles appear on



·        Classical Music, Opera & Theatre, Tennis, Cricket, Water skiing, Travel & Food.


My great-grandfather, from Gujarat, landed in German East Africa in 1834, bought land in 1876 and established the Khanbhai presence in Tanga, Tanzania. In the 1920s, the British in Kenya and Tanganyika, needed Indian labour to build the railway. Labourers as well as small businessmen from Gujarat were attracted to East Africa. The Gujaratis were in professions, administration and small businesses. Banking, insurance, industry, import/export and wholesale trade were dominated by British companies. Indians were distributors and agents. Socially, there was segregation along racial lines – for school, hospitals and clubs. The Indians, led by Gujaratis, established and funded their own social services.

My father, an auctioneer, insurance agent and court broker, enjoyed his independence and reputation for being forthright – he was popularly known as SIMBA – a lion. During the period 1939-1945, he observed that the only pharmacy in Tanga, managed by an Englishman, was always busy. Therefore, he decided to send his eldest son to England in 1946 to train as a pharmacist. Khanbhai Pharmacy Ltd was established in Tanga in 1951 – the seed of our family pharmacy business for 50 years!

In 1966 I qualified as a pharmacist from the “Square” (School of Pharmacy, University of London). In 1967, I secured admission to Balliol College (University of Oxford) to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. At Oxford, I proposed controversial debates in the Oxford Union, chaired the University’s Philosophical Society (The Jowett Society) and qualified in 1969.

The switch from science to philosophy and economics ignited my interest in British politics. However, I felt that a strong academic background was not sufficient to project me as a conviction politician keen to render public service. Conviction and political independence can draw strength from work experience in the real world – a world where one is confronted with problems of others. I had no desire to be a token politician the Conservative Party could parade before the ethnic community.

In 1970, I joined my family business in Tanzania where I helped to establish our pharmaceutical industry and related businesses. I worked in industry, wholesale and retail pharmacy in Tanzania as well as the UK until 1992.

I joined the Conservative Party in 1992 and volunteered to help the Sevenoaks Conservative Association in Kent. The Association was very supportive and offered me an opportunity in 1993 to fight the Kent County Council Elections in Swanley – a seat that had not been contested by Conservatives. In 1995 I applied to be selected as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for a seat that was in a rural, predominantly white area. It was important for me to know if I could make an impact in a difficult contest. I tried Norwich North (Conservative with a small majority) and Norwich South (Labour with a big majority). Norwich North did not even short-list me for interview as they thought my foreign name would not “wash” in Norfolk. Norwich South invited me for an interview and I won against John Penrose who ended up as the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Southall!

In the General Election of 1997, I fought Charles Clark in Norwich South. Mr.Clark- currently Chairman of the Labour Party - managed to add only 700 votes to the Labour vote in 1992. Although this was a good achievement, I was initially not short-listed for the European Parliament list for Eastern Region. It seems that selection on CV without interview does disadvantage candidates from minority groups. In June 1998, about 800 ordinary members of the Conservative Party gathered in Newmarket to select candidates for the European Elections. There were, for Eastern Region, 12 candidates including Lord Tony Newton (Thatcher’s cabinet minister and Leader of the Commons), two MEPs and Sir Graham Bright PPS to John Major. Each one of us had to speak for 10 minutes and take any questions for 15 minutes. The audience awarded points from 1 to 12 for each candidate and the scores were analysed. I was 3rd out of 12 on this list with the two MEPs ahead and others well below. This was democracy at work – merit and performance had ruled the day! I was elected as Member of the European Parliament for Eastern Region in June 1999.