An MP has been announced as chairman of a parliamentary group to champion the interests of the Hindu community.

Bob Blackman is now the chairman of All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus following a meeting last week.

A total of 23 MPs and Lords from all three main political parties have now signed up to be qualifying members of the group.

The representative for Harrow East said: “I have been working towards the creation of a strong forum for British Hindus to interact with Parliament since being elected, so I am delighted that this cross-party group has now formed and is receiving a lot of support across the board.

“I look forward to hosting a lively programme of discussions and events which will provide a platform for the Hindu community to positively engage and find its voice within our political system.”

Jayesh Jotangia, barrister and leader of the secretariat team, said: “The All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus is no doubt a very positive step forward in the evolution of the Hindu community in the UK."

The group’s main aims will be raise awareness of Hindu beliefs and right to freely practise the Hindu religion in the UK.

It will also look to improve the Government's engagement with the Hindu community through better consultation with grassroots.

Other members of the parliamentary group are Lord Navnit Dholakia, Virendra Sharma MP and Mathew Offord MP.