10 REASONS WHY THE ONLY “SIKH” MP IS THE WORST CANDIDATE IN THE GENERAL ELECTION
1) Paul Uppal has issued no statement on what he agrees or disagrees with in the Sikh Manifesto
Sikhs have engaged and met with well over 200 candidates standing to become MPs using the Sikh Manifesto. These have mainly been from the two main political parties Labour and the Conservative, but also some from the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Greens and UKIP.
Generally candidates from across the apolitical spectrum have not only warmly welcomed the Sikh Manifesto, but also indicated where they are supporting it. The Sikh Federation (UK) are releasing a report on responses to date in next week. Many candidates have been to Gurdwaras to discuss the Sikh Manifesto, have had their pictures taken with the Sikh Manifesto, written letters of support and shown their commitment. There has also been considerable social media activity in support of the Sikh Manifesto and widespread media coverage – TV, radio and newspapers.
However, the one and only so called “Sikh” who was an MP in the last Parliament has not made a single statement on whether he agrees or disagrees with any of the issues set out in the Sikh Manifesto. The Sikh Federation (UK) has tried to contact Paul Uppal dozens of times since the Sikh Manifesto was released but he refuses to respond or issue any statement.
The Sikh Federation (UK) and Sikh Network has for the first time in history made UK MPs realize the importance of the Sikh vote and how Sikhs can be the deciding factor of winning or losing. The release of the Sikh Manifesto has made the Sikh vote matter more then ever.
2) He is running a dirty campaign using the caste, grooming and Sikh independence issues
Anonymous letters are being circulated on the one hand claiming his main opponent, Rob Marris, led the campaign to outlaw caste discrimination (nothing wrong with that as Sikhs do not believe in caste) and on the other is backed by the Sikh Federation (UK), which is an organisation that believes in an independent Sikh State. He is trying to use the caste issue to gain Hindu votes and planning to meet members of the local Muslim community this Sunday (26 April) at 3pm in Dunstall Hill Community Centre, Whitmore Reans.
He is believed to be asking for their support as Rob Marris has spoken against grooming and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and that is one of the items in the Sikh Manifesto. Does this imply Paul Uppal is in favour of grooming and CSE? Does he not realise silence on this issue is a vote loser as far as all decent law abiding people are concerned, including Muslims, who live in Wolverhampton South West.
3) Failed to turn up to Sikh Manifesto hustings at Wolverhampton University
He even failed to show up to a political hustings in his constituency on 16 April at the University of Wolverhampton on the Sikh Manifesto where 8 other candidates from Wolverhampton showed up. He was invited by the University who organised the hustings with the Sikh Network as the BBC had reported they could find no students in Wolverhampton who were keen to vote. This was another unacceptable action on his part. His actions are deplorable and he is a disgrace to the Sikh community. How does the only Sikh ‘MP’ not show up to a Sikh Manifesto meeting in his own constituency when 8 other candidates are present?
4) He is not supporting an independent public inquiry into UK Government assistance in the 1984 Sikh Genocide
Politicians from nine different political parties, including from his own Conservative Party and Hindu and Muslim politicians are supporting calls for the independent public inquiry. Paul Uppal mishandled the whole issue from day one by calling for and starting a petition for ‘full disclosure’ – strangely this was the same language used by the Sikh Council UK. Neither achieved full disclosure and have largely been silent for the last 12 months. As a member of the ruling political party he could have played a pivotal role, but was almost certainly the main reason why Sikhs made little progress with the government beyond the whitewash internal report commissioned by the Prime Minister from the Cabinet Secretary.
After the papers were leaked he showed up on the Sikh Channel bragging about being the only Sikh MP who was meeting the Cabinet Secretary, but failed to take a stand for the Sikh community. Instead he has defended the UK government’s position while some in his party have been bold to say Sikhs are not happy and call for an independent public inquiry.
5) He is believed to have referred to Sikh activists as being worse than the “Taliban”
Other politicians have shared that Paul Uppal has used the above statement. Paul Uppal is invited to deny he has made such a statement and explain what is true. We will ask other politicians if they are willing to be named if Paul Uppal denies he has made such a statement. If he has made this statement he should resign, no longer claim to represent Sikhs and the community should disown him.
6) Paul Uppal is supporting the Wolverhampton Sikh Forum which is taking a major Sikh Gurdwara in the UK to court over chairs inside Diwan Hall
In this particular situation, this Gurdwara has gone over and beyond providing special needs to the elderly and disabled within the direction of the Akal Takht and made all reasonable adjustments. The Evidence is here: Attempt to Defame Largest Sikh Gurdwara in Wolverhampton
7) He has done little for Sikhs since being elected in 2010
Paul Uppal has been the MP for his Wolverhampton constituency for 5 years and he’s done absolutely nothing for Sikhs. Instead, he is encouraging others to commit beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. We have heard when a young Sikh man died in Accident and Emergency in Wolverhampton and his father went to see him he had the audacity to say he could not do anything as he did not live in his constituency. Many learn of this incident that showed his insensitivity.
8) Failed to do any thing on the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for UK Sikhs for the last 5 years
Although Paul Uppal has been Treasurer of the APPG, as it was difficult to exclude the one and only Sikh, he has not on one occasion been prepared to book a room or arrange a meeting of the group in the last five years. He has attended very few of its meetings and events.
It has been proven over and over again that a person who is born to Sikh parents is not always the best choice for the Sikh community as a whole. Paul Uppal is the perfect example of a person who calls himself Sikh but does absolutely nothing for the community.
The Labour candidate who is opposing him in the elections is Rob Marris who was the APPG Chair from 2005-2010 and did a huge amount of excellent work. Rob was voted best backbencher of the year and proved to be the best MP for Sikhs from 2005-2010 for his assistance to the Sikh community.
9) Failed to attend the 30th anniversary of the November Sikh Genocide held in Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Sikhs from across the UK attended this excellent event in Paul Uppal’s constituency. A Conservative Peer and a Conservative Member of the European Parliament attended alongside Labour politicians, but Paul Uppal failed to attend. This was an international event with speakers from India – Kamna Vorha, play from the USA – Kultar’s Mime etc.
10) Failed to attend or take part in the debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons regarding the death penalty in India
This was the first time Sikhs managed to get a debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons and yet Paul Uppal did not take part in the debate. He could not be bothered to even attend as he claimed he needed to attend a by-election on the day of the vote – a lame excuse. On voting day you can not canvass, but can help knock on doors, give people a lift and get them to the polling station. There were no party lines on this issue and even ‘friends’ of India were prepared to criticise India in its use of the death penalty. MPs like Virendra Sharma who is a Hindu and pro-Indian took a stand, but the one and only Sikh MP was not willing to attend and be critical of India despite the stated policy of all European countries, including the UK, to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.