-Top News London News UK News

Johnson grilled over lockdown-era parties

The ex-PM accepted that he misled the Commons but denies he did so on purpose, arguing that he relied on the advice of senior staff…reports Asian Lite News

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was grilled by a cross-party parliamentary panel for several hours on Wednesday to establish whether he knowingly misled the House of Commons over the party gate scandal of COVID law-breaking parties at Downing Street, reported China Daily.

Johnson was asked repeatedly whether he attended parties, broke lockdown rules, misled Parliament, and should resign. Johnson denied deliberately lying, but if found to have done so, he could face suspension or even lose his seat in Parliament.

He told the committee that the rule-breaking events were wrong and “I bitterly regret it,” but added, “hand on heart, that I did not lie to the House.”

Johnson swears to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth” on a bible at the start of the session.

Committee Chair Harriet Harman kicked off by emphasising the panel leave party affiliations at the door – Johnson has accused them of being biased.

Harman continued to define the scope of the committee’s work.

She said that the panel is looking at whether Johnson’s statements were accurate, and how “quickly and comprehensively” any misleading statements he made were corrected.

The question is whether any errors were rectified in “good time”, she said.

The ex-PM accepted that he misled the Commons but denies he did so on purpose, arguing that he relied on the advice of senior staff.

Harman said that Johnson spoke about the question of Covid compliance in No 10 in the House of Commons more than 30 times.

She said that most particularly on the dates 1 December 2021, 8 December 2021 and 25 May 2022.

The former prime minister, whose exit from 10 Downing Street last year had been hastened by the party gate scandal, repeatedly denied COVID lockdown rules were broken within government quarters when asked in the Commons. (ANI)

ALSO READ-Boris nominates father for knighthood

-Top News London News UK News

Johnson admits misleading in ‘partygate’ scandal

When revelations of booze-fueled parties in 2020 and 2021 at Downing Street first emerged in late 2021, Johnson initially said that no rules had been broken…reports Asian Lite News

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that the Parliament was “misled” by his statements on rule-breaking government parties held during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I accept that the House of Commons was misled by my statements that the rules and guidance had been followed completely at No.10,” Johnson said on Tuesday.

“But when the statements were made, they were made in good faith and on the basis of what I honestly knew and believed at the time,” he added in written evidence published a day ahead of an interrogation by lawmakers over the “partygate” scandal.

Johnson was forced to resign in July last year over a string of scandals. These included partygate, and Johnson’s appointment of Chris Pincher, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. Johnson’s resignation, followed by Liz Truss’ short-lived premiership will be remembered as a summer of political chaos for the UK, Xinhua news agency reported.

When revelations of booze-fueled parties in 2020 and 2021 at Downing Street first emerged in late 2021, Johnson initially said that no rules had been broken. He later apologised and said there had been “misjudgments,” as he mistook those parties for work events.

Johnson’s claims are currently being investigated by the cross-party Committee of Privileges. A guilty verdict on Wednesday could lead to his suspension from the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament.

Meanwhile, MPs investigating Johnson over Partygate will publish new documents later, ahead of a televised hearing crucial to his political future.

The former prime minister is battling accusations he misled Parliament over rule-breaking lockdown parties in Downing Street during his tenure.

He has admitted his initial assurances in 2021 that Covid rules were followed completely did mislead MPs. But he says this was not deliberate and that the hearing will vindicate him.

The former premier, who was ousted from office last year after a string of scandals, faces being potentially suspended if MPs decide he deliberately misled them.

The seven-member Commons privileges committee is investigating whether what Johnson told Parliament stopped it from properly holding him to account.

He is expected to be flanked by members of his taxpayer-funded legal team, with whom he will be able to confer during the session. Mr Johnson also hopes to have some of his supporters in the room.

However, he will have to answer questions himself, and will take an oath on the King James bible before the hearing begins.

Before the hearing, at 09.00 GMT the committee will publish a “core bundle” of evidence that is expected to be referred to during the hearing.

All the evidence amassed by the committee, including written statements from 23 witnesses, official diaries, and emails between officials, has already been handed over to Mr Johnson’s legal team.

His lawyers have given the committee 46 WhatsApp messages between the former prime minister and five unnamed people.

Media stories about staff parties in Downing Street when Covid rules banned socialising indoors began to emerge in late 2021, later becoming known as the Partygate scandal.

On several occasions afterwards, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons that Covid rules had been followed in Downing Street.

But an inquiry by senior official Sue Gray later found rule-breaking had taken place at multiple events, and police issued fines to 83 people, including Mr Johnson himself, for breaching Covid laws.

The committee, chaired by veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman, but with a Conservative majority, said earlier this month that breaches of pandemic guidance would have been “obvious” to him at the time.

However that was rejected by Johnson on Tuesday, in a 52-page document setting out his defence ahead of the TV hearing.

In the submission, he said his assurances to MPs that lockdown rules had been followed were made in “good faith”. He had not “intentionally or recklessly” misled MPs, he added, and would “never have dreamed of doing so”.

He said he had not considered at the time that events he attended himself, including a June 2020 birthday gathering in No 10 for which he was fined, had been in breach of the rules.

For other events he had not attended, he said he had not been told by his officials that they broke the rules – and it was reasonable of him to trust their account.

He also took aim at the committee itself, accusing of departing from the precedents set by previous inquiries.

ALSO READ-Boris nominates father for knighthood

Books Lite Blogs London News

Bollywood and UK stars join Amish Tripathi for book launch

Indian HC Vikram Doraiswami, Amish Tripathi, Sonam Kapoor, Gurinder Chadha, Anita Rani celebrate the launch of War of Lanka book

On Thursday evening , 16th March, a host of UK stars and Bollywood celebrities including TV’s Anita Rani, Actress Sonam Kapoor, director Gurinder Chadha, Vue Cinemas’ Tim Richards, presenter Anita Anand, and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Charlie Redmayne gathered at the London’s Taj hotel in St James to celebrate the launch of renowned author Amish Tripathi’s  fourth book in the blockbuster Ram Chandra series, War of Lanka, published by HarperCollins.

Amish Tripathi with Sonam Kapoor

Tripathi is currently the Director of the Nehru Centre and the Minister (Culture & Education) at the High Commission of India in the UK.  

In a lively conversation Sonam and Amish discussed writing about ancient texts, they talked about his journey into publishing, how he went from finance to fiction, self-publishing the first book in the bestselling Shiva Trilogy after it was rejected by over 20 publishers across India and how his books have mass audience appeal.

The Shiva Trilogy is now the fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history, while the Ram Chandra is the second-fastest selling. Amish has gone on to be a phenomenon in Indian publishing selling over 6.5 million copies of his books in the Indian subcontinent.

Amish Tripathi with Gurinder Chadha

Besides being India’s fastest-selling author, Amish is also a TV documentary host and a diplomat, working as Minister (Culture & Education) at the High Commission of India in the UK.

The Chief Guest of the function was the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Vikram Doraiswami, who spoke of his love for Amish’s books from before Amish joined the diplomatic service.

Speaking about his latest novel, author Amish said: “I am humbled to already receive the love of millions of Indian readers for my books and I am very excited to be introducing these stories to UK readers for the first time with my fourth book War of Lanka, which is based on the Indian epic Ramayan; a tale of war, love, and betrayal.”

(L-R) The Taj general manager, the Indian High Commissioner, His Excellency Vikram Doraiswami,Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, CEO of HarperCollins Charlie Redmayne and author Amish Tripathi

“The war at the end of the Ramayan, which represents the victory of Good over Evil, is what gave rise to the festival of lights, Diwali, which is celebrated to this day! I can’t wait for the discussions they encourage; offering new perspectives on old philosophies. I am grateful to HarperCollins for making it happen.”

ALSO READ: Sanskrit play aromatises the Nehru Centre London

-Top News London News UK News

King’s birthday celebrated for first time since 1951

Prior to the celebration, the British High Commissioner also added, “His Majesty the King has devoted his life to service; establishing more than 20 charities over four decades…reports Asian Lite News

To mark the British Monarch’s annual birthday, the British High Commission in New Delhi today hosted the King’s Birthday party, the first since 1951. The last time, the UK celebrated a King’s birthday party was in 1951. King Charles III was born in 1948 and became heir apparent on the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. Speaking to ANI, British High Commissioner to India Alex Ellis recalled the visit of the King to India and added that India and the United Kingdom are two old countries where he sees a huge opportunity in a much closer relationship.

“We are two old countries, India and United Kingdom in history. We have a King now, for the first time in 71 years. He loves India and is passionate about it. The King has visited India many times. I feel and think that the King really knows India”, said Ellis.

“We have a Prime Minister who has made Rangoli outside his home at Downing Street. So, it feels like a very different country from the country of 1952 when her Majesty, the Queen came to the throne. So, I see huge opportunity in a much closer relationship. I am sure that’s the King would want and the Prime Minister would want”, he added.

The King has undertaken 10 official visits to India, most recently in November 2019 when he visited New Delhi and Mumbai to celebrate British-India connections with a focus on sustainable markets, climate change and social finance.

In addition to his official and ceremonial duties in the UK and overseas, the King has championed a wide range of causes relating to the environment and sustainable development, the arts, healthcare and education for decades.

Prior to the celebration, the British High Commissioner also added, “His Majesty the King has devoted his life to service; establishing more than 20 charities over four decades. He has worked tirelessly for the United Kingdom around the world, including his enduring interest in promoting a modern partnership with India and its people. It is a privilege to celebrate his birthday with friends here in New Delhi”.

The Coronation of the King, a once-in-a-generation event, will take place at Westminster Abbey on 6 May. It is expected to be the most significant cultural event of 2023, with leaders and dignitaries from across the globe invited to attend.

The King’s birthday falls on 14 November. However, his official birthday in 2023 will be marked on 17 June, when the King’s birthday parade also known as Trooping The Colour is held in London. (ANI)

ALSO READ-First special stamps feature effigy of King Charles III

-Top News London News UK News

Britain battles to limit SVB damage  

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday said his government was working to limit any fallout for companies from the bank’s demise…reports Asian Lite News

A would-be buyer for the British arm of failed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) stepped forward on Sunday as the fallout from the collapsed US start-up-focused lender reverberated around the world.

The Bank of London said it had submitted a formal proposal to the British arm of SVB, as well as to the authorities, including the Treasury and the Bank of England (BOE).

Canada’s banking regulator, meanwhile, seized control of SVB’s branch in Toronto on Sunday and said it would seek a legal order to wind up the operation. The branch in Canada mainly lends to corporate clients, and does not hold any commercial or retail deposits.

In Hong Kong, more than a dozen listed companies have stepped forward to say they had little or no exposure to SVB.

Friday’s dramatic failure of SVB Financial Group, the parent company of SVB, was the biggest bank collapse in the United States since the 2008 financial crisis.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday said his government was working to limit any fallout for companies from the bank’s demise.

The collapse could have a significant impact on British technology companies, given the importance of the lender to some customers, Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said earlier on Sunday,

Bank of London, a clearing bank, said it was leading a consortium of private equity firms in making the approach.

“Silicon Valley Bank cannot be allowed to fail given the vital community it serves,” Bank of London co-founder and chief executive Anthony Watson said.

SoftBank-owned OakNorth Bank is also weighing a bid to buy SVB UK, a person with knowledge of the talks told Reuters, confirming an earlier Sky News report. Abu Dhabi state-backed investment vehicle ADQ is also looking.

The BOE has said it is seeking a court order to place the British arm of SVB in insolvency. Meanwhile, advisory firm Rothschild & Co was exploring options for the subsidiary, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters on Saturday.

Sunak said he understood “the anxiety and the concerns customers of the bank have”.

He and the government were “making sure we can work to find a solution that secures people’s operational liquidity and cash flow needs”, he said.

Earlier, Hunt said that efforts were focused on finding a “longer-term solution that minimises, or even avoids completely, losses to some of our most promising companies. We will bring forward very soon plans to make sure people are able to meet their cash flow requirements to pay their staff.” 

The government was weighing involving the British Business Bank (BBB) to help SVB UK’s customers, said one person, to help address firms’ cash needs. The BBB is government-owned but independently managed, specialising in supporting start-up firms. During the pandemic, it ran state-backed loan programmes.

Banks including Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group had been approached to see if an emergency takeover deal can be reached, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

But an executive at a major British bank said it was unlikely a High Street lender would buy SVB UK because its credit products would not be a good fit for a mainstream bank.

More than 250 British tech firm executives signed a letter addressed to Mr Hunt on Saturday, calling for government intervention and warning of an “existential threat” to the British tech sector, a copy seen by Reuters showed.

Under insolvency proceedings for banks in Britain, some depositors are eligible for up to £85,000 (S$138,600) of compensation, or £170,000 for joint accounts.

Customers may not be able to recover deposits in excess of those sums, which are small relative to the deposits some start-ups have with the bank. Hunt reiterated comments by the BOE that, overall, SVB had a limited presence in Britain and did not perform functions critical to the financial system.

ALSO READ-Britain issued maximum number of visas to Indians in 2022

-Top News London News

BBC presenters refuse to work in show of solidarity with anchor

Critics of Lineker’s suspension say the BBC bowed to government pressure, leading to a furious debate about the impartiality of the national broadcaster…reports Asian Lite News

BBC faced a mounting crisis as a row over football presenter Gary Lineker’s criticism of government migration policy led to a presenter mutiny, drew a comment from the prime minister and left the broadcaster’s boss defending his position.

The BBC was forced to axe much of its sports coverage on Saturday as presenters refused to work in a show of solidarity with Lineker, after the BBC sought to defend its impartiality by taking him off the air due to his comments on social media.

Lineker, a former England soccer captain, the BBC’s highest-paid presenter and the anchor of the football highlights programme “Match of the Day”, was suspended from his role following his criticism of Britain’s migration policy.

Critics of Lineker’s suspension say the BBC bowed to government pressure, leading to a furious debate about the impartiality of the national broadcaster.

BBC Director General Tim Davie told the BBC on Saturday he had no intention of resigning over the matter. “We in the BBC, and myself, are absolutely driven by a passion for impartiality, not left, right or pandering to a particular party,” he said.

Davie said he wanted Lineker back on the air and hoped to find a balance which enabled some presenters to express opinions while at the same time maintaining the BBC’s neutrality.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a statement on Saturday defending the migration policy, which bars the entry of asylum seekers arriving in small boats across the English Channel, saying he hoped Lineker and the BBC could resolve their differences in a timely manner.

“It is rightly a matter for them, not the government,” Sunak said.

The Lineker row severely disrupted the BBC’s sports programming on Saturday as multiple presenters walked out, prompting it to issue an apology.

Saturday’s edition of “Match of the Day”, presented by Lineker for more than 20 years, aired at the usual time despite his absence, but was slashed to just 20 minutes and aired as a show of highlights without commentary.

The BBC is committed to being politically impartial, but has faced criticism from the Conservative and Labour parties about how neutral it actually is, particularly in the era of social media when high-profile presenters can easily make their personal positions known.

The opposition Labour Party and media commentators accuse the BBC of silencing Lineker, after Sunak’s spokeswoman called Lineker’s comments “unacceptable” and interior minister Suella Braverman said they were “offensive”.

“The BBC is not acting impartially by caving in to Tory MPs who are complaining about Gary Lineker,” Labour leader Keir Starmer told reporters at a conference in Wales on Saturday.

Lineker declined to comment to media as he left his London home on Saturday and did not reply to questions from reporters on arrival at the King Power Stadium in Leicester where he went to watch one of his former clubs play.

The furore followed Sunak’s announcement of the new law earlier in the week. Lineker, 62, took to Twitter to describe the legislation as a “cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.”

Seeking to resolve the dispute, the BBC said there needed to be an agreed position on Lineker’s use of social media before he can return to presenting. But critics of Lineker’s suspension say he is entitled to his personal opinions because he is not a news presenter.

Greg Dyke, who was director-general of the BBC between 2000 and 2004, told BBC radio earlier on Saturday that the BBC had made a mistake.

“The perception out there is going to be that Gary Lineker, a much-loved television presenter, was taken off air after government pressure on a particular issue,” Dyke said.

That could turn viewers away from the 100-year-old BBC, which is funded by a 159 pound ($192) annual “licence fee” tax on all television-watching households.

ALSO READ-BBC, Tories Wither As Team Lineker Flexes Muscles

-Top News London News UK News

Thousands expected to march in support of NHS

Nurses and ambulance drivers have gone on strike in recent months over pay, conditions and concerns about patient safety. Talks are currently ongoing with the government…reports Asian Lite News

Thousands are expected to march in support of Britain’s NHS this week, amid an unprecedented crisis. The demonstration — organised by SOS NHS — will take place on Saturday in central London, drawing in staff, unions and concerned members of the public.

The NHS is currently experiencing one of the worst crises on record, with 500 patients dying unnecessarily every week due to a “collapse” in emergency health care, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

Waits of up to 12 hours for an ambulance were documented this winter.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to improve urgent and emergency care, outlining plans for more beds, ambulances, staff and better social care in December, though pundits have said these words must be met with funding commitments.

Nurses and ambulance drivers have gone on strike in recent months over pay, conditions and concerns about patient safety. Talks are currently ongoing with the government.

“There is a tragedy unfolding before our very eyes,” said Dr Tony O’Sullivan, Co-Chair of Keep Our NHS Public. “The Government is 100% to blame. They must act now to invest properly in the NHS – after 13 years of running it down”.

“In all my years as an NHS doctor I have never seen such a crisis of low morale amongst health staff – pay NHS staff properly now and repair this current crisis,” he added.

“They deserve pay justice and they are fighting not just for themselves but for the entire future of the NHS.”

Speaking in February, Sunak said he would love to give nurses a “massive” pay rise, but instead the money was needed in other areas of the health service.

Nurses’ salaries have declined by as much as 20% since 2010, according to the Royal College of Nursing.

This weekend’s demonstration is taking place a few days before the Spring Budget — where the government outlines its spending plans for the coming year — alongside more industrial action by sector workers, including a strike by junior doctors next week.

“A good shift nowadays for those working in A&E departments is one where someone doesn’t die in our waiting rooms or show up dead on arrival in the back of a delayed ambulance,” said Dr Andrew Meyerson, a Junior Doctor who will march on Saturday.

“That this is happening in the 6th wealthiest country on the planet is an unacceptable failure of government,” he continued.

ALSO READ-Vital services at your fingertips, NHS urges use of NHS 111 online

-Top News London News

Bank of London weighs rescue bid for SVB’s UK arm

US regulators have shut down Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and taken control of its customer deposits in the largest failure of an American bank since 2008…reports Asian Lite News

British clearing bank The Bank of London is considering a rescue bid for the UK arm of collapsed U.S. bank Silicon Valley Bank.

The British bank has appointed investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to advise it on its interest in Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited (SVB UK), the report said, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The news of the British bank’s bid interest comes a day after the Bank of England said it was seeking a court order to place SVB UK into an insolvency procedure, after U.S. regulators took over its parent company SVB Financial Group earlier on Friday.

The rout in SVB’s stock, which began on Thursday, has spilled over into other U.S. and European banks. U.S. banks have lost over $100 billion in stock market value and European banks have shed another $50 billion in value over the past two days.

Largest failure since 2008

US regulators have shut down Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and taken control of its customer deposits in the largest failure of an American bank since 2008.

The moves came as the firm, a key tech lender, was scrambling to raise money to plug a loss from the sale of assets affected by higher interest rates, BBC reported.

Its troubles prompted a rush of customer withdrawals and sparked fears about the state of the banking sector.

Officials said they acted to “protect insured depositors”.

SVB faced “inadequate liquidity and insolvency”, banking regulators in California, where the firm has its headquarters, said as they announced the takeover on Friday.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which typically protects deposits up to $250,000, said it had taken charge of the roughly $175 billion in deposits held at the bank, the 16th largest in the US, the BBC reported.

Bank offices would reopen and clients with insured deposits would have access to funds “no later than Monday morning”, it said, adding that money raised from selling the bank’s assets would go to uninsured depositors.

With many of the firm’s customers in that position, the situation has left many companies with money tied up at the bank worried about their future.

The collapse came after SVB said it was trying to raise $2.25 billion to plug a loss caused by the sale of assets, mainly US government bonds, which had been affected by higher interest rates.

The news caused investors and customers to flee the bank. Shares saw their biggest one-day drop on record on Thursday, plunging more than 60 per cent and fell further in after-hours sales before trading was halted, the BBC reported.

Concerns that other banks could face similar problems led to widespread selling of bank shares globally on Thursday and early Friday.

Speaking in Washington on Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was monitoring “recent developments” at SVB and others “very carefully”.

She later met top banking regulators, where the Treasury Department said she expressed “full confidence in banking regulators to take appropriate actions in response and noted that the banking system remains resilient”.

ALSO READ-Silicon Valley Bank CEO sold $3.5m in shares in two weeks

India News London News Restaurant Reviews

Indian Restaurant ‘Bardez’ in Manchester adds taste to Curry Mile

Bardez is the newly opened Indian street food and grill restaurant on the famous Curry mile in Manchester. Rahul Laud finds more..

Bardez brings top of mind the beaches in north Goa , the sand, surf , fish and feni in the tourist popular Goa.  Residents of Bardez – a taluka place — are known as Bardezkars. Two such Bardezkars brothers Marcus Dsouza and Zico who are residents of Manchester have joined hands to cater to Mancunians with Bardezkar hospitality. 

If Goans are owners and Bardez is the name of the place then another naturally corollary faces top of mind is that the recipes would be Goan. Smilingly the two brothers dismiss this thought. “Yes Goan hospitality one will experience here but we have crafted a mixed bag menu so we can appeal and attract to all taste buds.” The traditional Rechad masala, the vindaloos and sorpotels and fenny and uraq are not on the bar on menu lists.

What is still so exciting? That has grabbed the attention on the Curry Mile. Opened a few weeks ago the place is packed on all days which come as a pleasant surprise to the local trade. Narrating the secret and magic of the place, Marcus says, “Food is the King. Three chefs joined hands with us and are business partners. This is unique in the industry here and these chefs curate exotic recipes as their business interests keep them motivated constantly.”

The Bardez team spent a whole one year to set up the ambience, design and curate special recipes and the formerly Turkish grill eatery was converted into an authentic Indian street and grill food casual dining hotspot. Chef team lead by Suraj Singh, and two others tandoori specialists Balwir Singh and Darmiyan Singh bring to the table some never –heard-before starters. Beetroot tikki, Crisp Paneer kofta with cheese in it have caught connoisseurs eye, Suraj Singh has been in Manchester over two decades and for the first time has ventured into business partnership with Marcus and Zico. 

Among the Garhwali chefs who run probably most Indian restaurants’ kitchens, Suraj Singh commands huge respect for his expertise, style, taste and sincerity towards North Indian cuisine. Zico brings huge experience running restaurants and shacks in Goa and Marcus is well known in Manchester having worked in several restaurants before as Front office and FandB manager. Thus these owners claim that their “Five men army” is a formidable team to conquer Curry Mile.

Those vegetarians have found the Dum Pukht biryani unbeatable. “It is reminiscent of Lucknow biryanis,” said Mamit Agarwal who hails from that city in Uttar Pradesh. The crispy paneer kofta is unique in its flavour and attracts the Caucasians who find it mildly marinated and delicious. Non vegetarians have found “the chicken chops scrumptious,” said an Egyptian doctor Nawabi – now a regular at Bardez. Usually lamb and mutton chops are common but Bardez Chefs have created unique flavoured chicken chops that any tandoori lover cannot resist to eat.

Excited and happy Marcus says “It’s a dream come true for us. It is not easy as one has worked for several years and starting one’s own business requires huge courage, strength and risk taking ability.” He said the focus of Bardez,”is on excellent taste and good food thus we refrained from any Goan dish as the strength of our Chefs is North Indian food. Our cuisine is pan Indian and fish lovers come repeatedly to taste our Malabar and Malvani fish curry that has freshly grounded masalas in our kitchen to match the original taste.”

Vegans will get tasty Indian recipes he assured. Located near Manchester and Metropolitan Universities to cater to student population pocket friendly Tapas dishes are served during lunch with soups. At an average price of 5.50£ per dish a student can have a meal that can match his hunger and pocket. Rajma Chawal, keema and omelette pav, vada pav and several other recipes popular on Indian streets have attracted the student community.

Bardez has two full-fledged bars in its two storeyed premises. The upper floor is designed for a party space that can host 40-50 guests. Indian soft drinks Thus Up, Limca and the popular Goan Cashew Feni are available to those who enjoy Indian drinks.With a stylish ambience and a warm, enthusiastic, typical Goan style bubbly and lively Marcus and Zico – these two brothers to receive you Bardez glows bright golden like its signage on the street. Indian authentic food is here to stay. Middle Eastern food with its shishas and falafels will not succeed in driving away Indian food from the curry mile.

Click to view in full screen:

Asia News Lite Blogs London News

Manchester Museum reopens; South Asian Gallery achieves overwhelming response

Following its £15 million transformation, Manchester Museum reopened its doors recently with the aim to build greater understanding between cultures, a more sustainable world and to bring to life the lived experience of diverse communities through the Museum’s historic collections and new displays … Rahul Laud reports

With pomp and fanfare the Manchester Museum reopened in the presence of community leaders, artistes, regular museum visitors and for Chancellor at the Exchequer George Osborne.On the occasion of the reopening , Esme Ward, Museum Director of Manchester Museum, said: “The reopening marks a huge moment in Manchester Museum’s rich history as we open our doors following a major transformation. We have extended the building, making room for more joy and learning and evolving into the Museum Manchester needs. Beautiful new galleries and exhibitions will showcase the best of the Museum’s historic collections, as well as addressing the urgencies of the present day and highlighting the complexities of our world. We have also listened to advocates with lived experience, and inclusive new spaces and features are incorporated throughout. We are delighted to welcome our visitors back.”

Esem Ward, Director, Manchester Museum

Exciting new galleries include the South Asia Gallery, a British Museum partnership, and the UK’s first permanent space to explore the lived experience of South Asian diaspora communities. There is also a new Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery, the Belonging Gallery, a brand new Dinosaur display and Golden Mummies of Egypt, its first blockbuster exhibition opening in the new Exhibition Hall.

Designed by Purcell, the modern two-storey extension houses a major new Exhibition Hall and South Asia Gallery, alongside a new accessible entrance from Oxford Road and a new cafe and shop. The extension is clad in green-glazed terracotta tiles and pays homage to craftsmanship as well as Victorian and Edwardian period buildings in Manchester. Other new features include a Changing Places toilet, prayer room, quiet room, picnic area and therapy room.

Nusrat Ahmed, Lead, South Asian Gallery

Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall is home to ambitious shows that explore past, present and future and engage with global and local narratives. The opening exhibition, Golden Mummies of Egypt, offers visitors unparalleled access to the Museum’s world-class Egypt and Sudan collection and challenges Victorian narratives of ‘ancient Egypt’ through new research from the University of Manchester. Featuring more than 100 objects and 8 mummies, the UK debut, and final destination of the exhibitions running follows a hugely popular tour across USA and China and presents a rich perspective on beliefs about the afterlife during Egypt’s Graeco-Roman Period (332 BC -395 AD), with highlights including elaborately decorated mummies known as ‘Fayum Portraits’.

George Osborne former Chancellor at the UK exchequer

The South Asia Gallery, a British Museum partnership, is the first permanent gallery in the UK to celebrate the lived experiences and contributions of the South Asian diaspora. Co-curated with the South Asia Gallery Collective, a group of 30 individuals including community leaders, educators and artists, the gallery explores the connection between South Asia and Britain and the legacy of Empire alongside contemporary South Asian culture and creativity, perspectives that have not been presented before. Divided into 6 anthologies, the Collective has grappled with a range of subjects through 140 artefacts, including one of the collective’s great-grandfather’s World War I uniform, a rickshaw imported from Bangladesh and decorated Communities in Manchester, a new commissioned mural from British artists, The Singh Twins – an emotional map of South Asian diaspora experience – and a Cartier brooch containing a repurposed carved emerald from the Mughal Empire. At the heart of the gallery is also a dedicated space for performance, film and participatory activities. Ustad Allah Rakhan’s original tabla loaned from the British Museum is a huge attraction for Indian classical music lovers.

The Lee Kai Hung Chinese Culture Gallery highlights personal stories of migration, friendships and collaboration to inspire empathy and build understanding. Developed in partnership with the University’s Manchester China Institute, it draws on historical and contemporary links between Manchester and China.

One of the Museum’s most visited exhibits, the prehistoric giant Stan the Tyrannosaurus rex, returns alongside a new addition, April the Tenontosaurus. The Museum worked with a team of Earth Science students from the University of Manchester, whose new research and several years of cataloguing have allowed April’s skeleton, dating back to the Cretaceous period and found in Montana, USA, to stand on all fours again. Positioned next to the historic Fossils Gallery, the brand-new Dinosaur display also teaches visitors Palaeontology enthusiasts will learn what it means to think like a palaeontologist at the brand-new Dinosaur display next to the historic Fossils Gallery.

The new Belonging Gallery captures the welcoming spirit of the Museum, drawing upon the Museum’s collections and diverse cultural perspectives to reflect on what it means to belong.

There are also stories that include the climate migration of the first people to Britain during the last Ice Age and the poignant story of a Syrian refugee’s life jacket, collected in 2017.

The gallery has been curated by Alexandra P. Alberda, the first-ever Curator of Indigenous Perspectives at Manchester Museum. She was appointed to take forward the innovative ‘Indigenising Manchester Museum’ programme, funded by the John Ellerman Foundation, which sets Indigenous perspectives at the heart of the Museum. She is also undertaking provenance research with “source and diaspora communities” as part of the Museum’s proactive approach to repatriation.