Sikh political lobby cancelled following letter from PM this morning and his resignation
London – 7 July 2022
Thirty minutes before Boris Johnson resigned today, he wrote to Bhai Amrik Singh, the Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), with a response to the open letter sent to him on 9 February 2022 from over 300 UK Gurdwaras and Sikh organisations.
In recent communications with 10 Downing Street the Sikh Federation (UK) indicated Boris Johnson needed to respond to the open letter by Friday 8 July or a mass Sikh lobby would take place on Tuesday 12 July.
In the letter he has apologised as Prime Minister for the UK Government not acknowledging the Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in November 2021 and promised it would not happen again.
Boris Johnson has also expanded and gone further on his letter to Keir Starmer about the arbitrary detention of Jagtar Singh Johal and admitted Jagtar “has been detained arbitrarily in India, for the past four years”.
Boris Johnson has stated: “Ministers and officials have raised our concerns directly with the Government of India, regarding Mr Johal’s treatment and right to a fair trial, on almost a hundred occasions since November 2017.”
Boris Johnson has however completely avoided addressing the need for action against Priti Patel for her actions against the British Sikh community. He has made no attempt to defend her actions and her offensive, disgraceful and unsubstantiated comments labelling British Sikhs as extremists.
Bhai Amrik Singh said:
“Given Boris Johnson’s letter sent this morning, his subsequent resignation and the turmoil caused by dozens of Ministerial resignations we have decided to cancel the Sikh political lobby for next Tuesday.”
“We have however written back to the PM requesting he urgently meet Jagtar Singh Johal’s family and reassure them he will use his remaining term in office to secure his release and return to the UK.”
“In writing back to him we have noted the Prime Minister has made no attempt to defend Priti Patel’s actions and remarks so we will continue to campaign to have her removed as Home Secretary.”
“It is unclear who will become the next Prime Minister, but many politicians are aware of the concerns we have raised about Priti Patel and the issues we would have raised at the lobby next week.”
“We will look to the new Prime Minister and a new Ministerial team to hit the reset button and have a different relationship with grassroots Sikh organisations, like the Sikh Federation (UK).”
Jaspal Singh National Press Secretary Sikh Federation (UK)