Gulam Noon, Baron Noon, businessman, Died at 79

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Gulam Kaderbhoy Noon, Baron Noon was born January 24, 1936, and died on October 27, 2015.

Gulam was a British businessman originally from Mumbai, India.

Lord Noon was the chancellor of the University of East London.

He founded and operated a number of food product companies in Southall, London, specialising in Indian cuisine.

His main business was Noon Products, which he established in September 1987, manufacturing chilled and frozen ready meals, predominantly for UK supermarkets, mainly in the Indian and Thai ready meal categories.

In 2005 Noon Products was taken over by Irish food conglomerate Kerry Group.

In 1994 a fire in his factory destroyed everything, however, within 10 weeks of this fire the company had begun selling its products again.

He kept all his staff in employment during this period.

In March 2006 Gulam came to wider notice as one of the businessmen embroiled in the “Cash for Peerages” scandal when it emerged that he had loaned £250,000 to the Labour Party.

Gulam was given an MBE for services to the food industry in 1994 (under a Conservative government) and knighted in 2002.

Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn said that awarding knighthoods to party donors, like Noon, would devalue the whole honours system.

Gulam was a declared backer of the Britain in Europe group, a pro-European pressure group and as a former trustee of the Maimonides Foundation, a charitable organisation promoting dialogue between Jews and Muslims.

He was awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of East London on 12 November 2009.

In January 2013, Lord Gulam was appointed as the chancellor of the University of East London.

A “castaway” on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs in 2004, in The Sunday Times Rich List 2006 he was placed in 888th position with an estimated fortune of £65 million.

Gulam died of cancer on 27 October 2015 at the age of 79.

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