April 30, 2017 | By Gurjeet Singh, Sikh Federation UK
by Gurjeet Singh
(Sikh Federation UK)
London (29 April 2017): Within hours of Theresa May standing outside 10 Downing Street on 18 April to announce she wanted a General Election on 8 June and would seek Parliaments approval the next day Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) stated in a press release:
“An early General Election gives political parties and the Sikh community an opportunity to address the complete lack of Sikh representation in the House of Commons.”
“We also think we could see the first Sikh woman MP and each of the parties could for the first time also have visible Sikhs in turbans becoming MPs. This should be seen as an opportunity for Sikhs to be at the heart of political decision-making in one of the most important times in recent British history.”
The Sikh community has made huge strides in the last 48-hours with regards to better representation as set out in the Sikh Manifesto developed by the Sikh Network. Yesterday we announced Preet Kaur Gill a Board member of the Sikh Network had been selected by the Labour Party to replace Gisela Stuart in Birmingham Edgbaston and on 8 June she will defend a majority of 2,706 (6.6%).
Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK) said: “Preet will have a tough battle on her hand, but we are confident in her outstanding abilities and she will have huge support from us and many others to make history as the first Sikh woman MP. She called me yesterday and said she could not have got to this position without our full support.”
“Today we are equally delighted to announce the selection by the Labour NEC of Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi from Slough who will be defending a majority of 7,336 (15.2%).” “
“Tanmanjeet called me last week asking for our support and telephoned our principal political adviser yesterday after he was selected to pass on his congratulations to us for being true to our words of getting Sikhs selected in winnable seats”.
“We will do all we can to help him become the first turban wearing Sikh MP.”
Tanmanjeet Singh said: “I am humbled to be selected as Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Slough and hope to have the honour of serving the town where I was born and raised”.
A Sikh Federation (UK) spokeswoman added: “We know there remains some controversy about Tanmanjeet’s selection, but this is a matter for the Labour NEC.”
“This is not the first time Labour have jettisoned all-women shortlists (AWS). AWS champion Harriet Harman was accused of failing to back the process in Birmingham Erdington because her husband Jack Dromey wished to run for the seat.”
“What we do know is Labour has selected a turban wearing Sikh who has an excellent chance to become the first turban wearing Sikh in the House of Commons and he will have our full support.”
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