'Priti Patel and Boris Johnson lied to us about helping curry restaurants after Brexit'
By Barfi Culture Team
16th February 2019

The secretary-general of the Bangladesh Caterers Association, Oli Khan, has said he was utterly wrong to have gone along with MPs Priti Patel and Boris Johnson and endorsed the Leave campaign for Brexit.

He said he was worried about the number of South Asian restaurants that were closing in Britain because they couldn't find enough staff from the sub-continent.

"Both Priti Patel and Boris Johnson approached us to collaborate with and support the Save Our Curry Houses campaign set up by Vote Leave. They said if we were to support the leave campaign, they would ensure we were able to get more chefs from south Asia by relaxing immigration rules with lower salary thresholds to hire staff from outside the EU."

"And we made the mistake of believing them," he told The Guardian.

He says he swallowed the Brexit campaign lies and urged others in the industry to vote to Leave too.

If anything, Brexit has hurt the South Asian restaurant industry he now says.

"Many of the estimated 10,000 EU citizens employed in our industry have quit their jobs amid continued uncertainty over their future. The treatment of these workers from other countries and the rise in xenophobia since the referendum should shame us all, particularly those of us from an immigrant background."

He said he would fight twice as hard to overturn the Leave vote now if he could.

"Many people in my community feel used. We were taken as fools by the leave campaign who, once they got what they needed, have deserted us."

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