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Bhatia was Chairman and managing director of Forbes Campbell International Ltd. 1980-2001. He is the chair and co-founder of the Ethnic Minority Foundation and the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations (CEMVO), and a former trustee of various charitable organisations, including the National Lottery Charities Board and Oxfam, serving as Chairman of Oxfam Trading.
Bhatia received the OBE in 1997. In 2001, he was made a life peer as Baron Bhatia, of Hampton in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, one of the first 'people's peers'. He sat in the House of Lords as a crossbencher.
In 2003 Lord Bhatia received the Beacon Fellowship Prize for his leadership role in countering social deprivation and exclusion in the UK and internationally.
In 2006 he was the chair of the British Edutrust foundation, the organisation planning to sponsor Rhodesway School. He stepped down from the post in March 2009.
In October 2010 Lord Bhatia was suspended for 8 months from the House of Lords due to the United Kingdom Parliamentary expenses scandal. After this, Lord Batia sits in the House of Lords as a non-affiliated member.
In December 2013, BBC Newsnight reported that Lord Bhatia had been accused by the Ethnic Minority Foundation of misappropriating £600,000 from the charity. Lord Bhatia is suing the charity for unfair dismissal, and his lawyers say that these allegations are confusing the historical position with the present dispute.
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