LONDON: Pizza tycoon and Indian origin philanthropist Rumi Verjee was made a lord on Thursday – an honour given by the British monarch which gives the awardee the right to sit and vote in the House of Lords.
Multi millionaire Rumi Verjee, who brought the Domino’s pizza chain to Britain, has now become Lord Verjee. A well known donor to the Liberal Democrat party, he is among the 30 new peers announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday.
Verjee is a Ugandan-born Indian entrepreneur and is believed to be worth an estimated 125 million pounds.
The full list of new peers released by Downing Street includes 14 from the ruling Conservative party, 10 Liberal Democrats, five Labor and one Green. Verjee was nominated by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
The 30 nominees will take their seats when the House of Lords returns from its summer recess in September taking the number of active members to 800.
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was to become a peer. But he rejected a peerage to spend more time with his wife.
Verjee is a highly successful entrepreneur and the proprietor and chairman of Thomas Goode & Co, based in London’s Mayfair. He founded Domino’s Pizza in the UK. A fourth generation Indian born in Uganda, much of the Verjee family’s assets was seized by Idi Amin’s regime.
Verjee studied Law at Downing College, University of Cambridge where he is now an Honorary Fellow and after the expulsion of the Asian population from Uganda, made UK his home.
The latest appointments have triggered a warning that the membership of the House of Lords is on course to top 1,000 by 2015.
Verjee said, “As an immigrant from East Africa I arrived in the UK with little more than a good education and a desire to succeed.”