Senior politicians and prominent businessmen have come out in support of Lord Feldman after growing scrutiny over his alleged involvement in the bullying scandal.
Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz MP told Eastern Eye Feldman had broken the mould for the Conservative party’s engagement with the Asian population in the UK.
The Labour MP’s comments came after the Tory peer and close friend of David Cameron, was facing questions over his handling of an investigation into election aide Mark Clarke, who was accused of bullying 21-year-old activist Elliott Johnson before his apparent suicide.
MPs have spoken about Feldman’s commitment to the party and his dedication to extending the Conservative’s reach to the Asian community.
“In my 28 years as an MP, I have never seen such a senior Tory make so much effort and go the distance as far as the Asian community is concerned. He has become my ‘shadow’ in attending community events, and I congratulate him on his work in this area,” Vaz said.
Grant Shapps, who chaired the party from 2012 until May this year, quit as an international development minister last month after saying he took responsibility for hiring Clarke.
In September, Johnson was believed to have killed himself after making accusations of bullying against the party aide Mark Clarke, hired by Shapps to organise campaigners.
Lord Feldman has maintained that he was “wholly unaware” of the allegations of bullying until August, when he immediately set up an internal inquiry.
The Conservative party said it had started to investigate the bullying allegation as soon as it was made aware of it.
Successful businessman Dr Rami Ranger, chairman of Sun Mark Ltd, said Feldman had helped to turn around the fortunes of the party following its three electoral defeats to Labour.
“He set about reviving the fortunes and perception of the party, especially when morale was low and finances were under a considerable amount of strain.”
Ranger added that Feldman, who studied with Asians at university, used his experience to bring their concerns to the Tories.
“This prior understanding about the community led to him to having a deeper insight into the Asians psyche. His first task was to create Asian role models within the party and improve the finances. He worked incredibly hard to reach out to the party faithful by getting them to commit themselves even more.
“In addition, he set about making a record number of visits to Hindu and Sikh temples. The Conservative party’s support by the Asian community went up from 19 per cent in the 2010 election to nearly 40 per cent in May.”
Downing Street is standing behind Feldman, saying that Cameron has full confidence in the party chairman.
Kalpesh Solanki, managing editor of Asian Media and Marketing Group, said: “Andrew has been a consistent supporter of the Asian community ensuring the modern day conservative party reflects the make up of modern day Britain. He has been the focal point for the party, ensuring the Asian community’s needs and issues are heard at the highest level in government.”