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He also backed the war in Iraq, arguing that Saddam Hussein should have been shot as soon as he was pulled out of his hole.A keen member of Surrey County Cricket Club, Noon was a dedicated supporter of the English team (except when they played India) and in his office he proudly displayed 30 autographed bats.
The revelation triggered the arrest of Tony Blair’s chief fund-raiser Lord Levy, who had allegedly told Noon that he did not need to report the loan, and provoked a political and media storm over “cash for peerages”, the implication being that Noon and others had attempted to buy their way into the House of Lords.They can f--- off.” He had no truck with the “multicultural” notion that British social services should translate notices into Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati or Punjabi.“People should learn English and assimilate themselves into the society in which they live,” he said.Noon, who had built a fast food empire manufacturing supermarket curries, seemed baffled and hurt by the row, telling an interviewer that he had assumed his nomination had been for his business and charitable activities.He had originally declared the loan on his nomination form, he explained, but had been asked to remove the reference by Levy, who claimed that it was not necessary because the loan was refundable.David Cameron, Gummer suggested, should put Noon forward for a peerage.
IIndeed any examination of Noon’s career revealed a classic candidate for elevation to the House of Lords and he eventually took his place there in 2011, after being nominated by the Labour leader Ed Miliband.
The Crown Prosecution Service explained that while peerages may have been given in exchange for loans, it could not find direct evidence that this had been agreed in advance.
Although no charges were ever brought against any of those involved, the investigation undermined Tony Blair’s position and probably hastened his resignation as Prime Minister.
Then in 1985, after sampling Britain’s bland supermarket curries, he realised there was a market for the real thing and in 1988 he founded Noon Products, with 11 people in a small factory in Southall.
A year later he got his first order from Birds Eye and took on a further 70 employees.
But Noon had an extraordinary ability to come back from failure.