The General Election on 8th of June is thought to have provided the British Sikh community an opportunity to increase the representation of Sikhs in the House of Commons.
According to statistics, there are currently four Sikhs who have been selected in winnable seats.
Labour has provided three out of four of these candidates; the first of which is Preet Kaur Gill who has been selected to represent the Birmingham Edgbaston area. The Candidate was born and raised within the constituency and is dedicated to seeing the area succeed – a fact which has resonated with the people of Edgbaston. Gill is defending a majority of 6.5% and is on her way to becoming the first Sikh Woman MP in The Houses of Commons.
The second Sikh candidate that has been selected to represent the Labour Party in Slough is Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi. Dhesi is defending a majority of 15.2%, which means he is in the running to become the first turban wearing MP in UK Parliament.
The third Sikh labour candidate is also hoping to become one of the first turban wearing MPs is India-born Kuldip Singh Sahota. Having spent 51 years living in Telford, Sahota is passionate about standing up for the town’s best interests. However, in order to get to Parliament, Sahota has to overturn a small Conservative majority of 1.8%.
The final candidate in a winnable seat is from the Conservative party. Paul Uppal, based in Wolverhampton South West, is looking to overturn a majority of 801 votes and return to Westminster after a 2-year gap.
However, the Conservatives have faced scrutiny from the Sikh Federation UK for their lack of representation. In a statement they said; “In terms of Sikh representation, the Conservatives have been left behind with only Paul Uppal selected for Wolverhampton South West, who is clear favourite to regain the seat from Labour, and Samir Jassal, selected in the safe Labour seat of Feltham and Heston,”
They went on to add; “So whilst Labour has proactively used its central selection process to get better Sikh representation, the Conservatives appear to have given this low priority and relatively speaking gone backwards, especially with regards to turban-wearing Sikhs and Sikh women as MPs.”
There are also an additional four Sikh candidates who are standing however due to high opposing majorities, it is unlikely for them to make it to Parliament; these include; Rocky Gill, Manjinder Singh Kang, Bally Singh and Samir Jassal.
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