My father arrived here in this incredible country in the early 1950s and settled in Glasgow. It was a very different place to the multi-cultural city we see today. Here was a man born in British India, who had to leave the town in which he was born almost overnight as the partition of the sub-continent took him to the new state of Pakistan - and was now arriving in a country equipped with a relative fluency in English and only £5 to his name.
Yet his most powerful asset was his guiding principles, which were based on self-help and the need to give something back to the community, while becoming an integrated member of the country that he would now call home. He worked a number of jobs while also studying and playing his part in the community – whether working in the care homes for the elderly or joining the local hockey club, he was determined to make his own way, through hard work and a commitment to provide for his family through the opportunities his country afforded to him. He didn’t quite “get on his bike” but he got on a train - as in his early years, he worked on the railways. It was those key values that really shaped my politics and showed me the inextricable link between personal progression, cultural integration and social responsibility with the Conservative Party, all shaped within a meritocratic framework. Entrepreneurism personified.