On Friday 31 August, Stephen Timms, Minister for Competitiveness and MP for East Ham, met with Mr Shafi U Ahmed, the newly appointed Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK.
The Commissioner gave Mr Timms an update on the current situation in Bangladesh, and on plans for elections to be held by the end of next year. They also discussed issues of importance to the Bangladeshi community in the UK. Stephen Timms said “I congratulate Mr Ahmed on his new post. I look forward to working with the Commissioner in the future.”
Stephen Timms has a large Bangladesh Community in his Newham constituency. He works closely with the Bengali community and has shown a strong interest in the country’s development.
Last year Stephen Timms visited Bangladesh in his capacity as Chief Secretary to The Treasury. The purpose of his visit was to contribute towards every child being able to complete primary education. Most children in Bangladesh start primary education, but a third drop out in order to earn money to buy food. One idea being developed is to provide primary school children with a free lunch. Stephen Timms expressed his strong support for this programme at his meeting with the Commissioner and urged him to pursue it.
Stephen Timms said “Ensuring that all children complete primary school is of vital importance to Bangladesh’s development. A free school would mean that many children will be able to attend school instead of working. I hope that with the help of funding from the British Government, the Bangladeshi authorities will be in a position to put this programme into place”.