January 21, 2020 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
London (21 January 2020): Preet Kaur Gill the Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston was re-elected unopposed as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs yesterday at its well-attended Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The Sikh Federation (UK) set up the APPG in 2005 and has been providing secretariat support to it for nearly 15 years. Following the General Election its principal adviser who acts as the secretariat for the APPG and interface with the Sikh community wrote to each of the 150 MPs that have more than 1,000 Sikh constituents that the Sikh community will be looking to work on Sikh issues in the Sikh Manifesto 2020-2025 in the next 5 years.
In the 10 days leading up to the AGM dozens of MPs from different political parties have come forward to become members of the APPG for British Sikhs. Photographs that have emerged from the meeting show there was unprecedented interest in joining and taking up an office bearer positions in the APPG with standing room only.
Supporting Preet Kaur Gill will be five Vice-Chairs from the Conservative Party, five Vice-Chairs from the Labour Party and three Vice-Chairs from the Scottish National Party as follows:
Five Conservative Vice Chairs:
1. Stuart Anderson, Wolverhampton South West MP
2. Eddie Hughes, Walsall North MP
3. Joy Morrissey, Beaconsfield MP
4. Nicola Richards, West Bromwich East MP
5. Lord Ranbir Singh Suri
Five Labour Vice Chairs:
1. Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Slough MP
2. Kate Green, Stretford and Urmston MP
3. Pat McFadden, Wolverhampton MP
4. John Spellar, Warley MP
5. West Streeting, Ilford North MP
Three Scottish National Party (SNP) Vice Chairs:
1. Martin Docherty-Hughes, West Dunbartonshire MP
2. Kirsten Oswald, East Renfrewshire MP
3. Alison Thewliss, Glasgow Central MP
Others that attended the meeting included:
1. Collen Fletcher, Labour MP for Coventry North East
2. Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East
3. Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr
4. Caroline Nokes, Conservative MP Romsey and Southampton North
5. Taiwo Owatemi, Labour MP Coventry North West
6. Amanda Solloway, Conservative MP for Derby North
7. Valerie Vaz, Labour MP for Walsall South
8. Matt Western, Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington
9. Lord Indarjit Singh
10. Lord Rami Ranger
The APPG discussed several of its priorities, including:
· helping secure the option of a Sikh ethnic tick box response in the Census 2021 where Eddie Hughes the Conservative MP for Walsall North has arranged for a delegation of Conservative MPs to meet the Cabinet Office Minister responsible for the census
· issues concerning the 5 Kakaars and Sikh dastaar
· hate crimes targeting Sikhs
· human rights cases like that of Jagtar Singh Johal; and
· the UN Security Council looking into the 1984 Sikh Genocide.
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