Below is the text in response to a series of articles we published of the Sikh Council UK’s support for former MP Paul Uppal. We are not attempting to malign the council but only demanding answers to questions we have raised. We appreciate the efforts and hard work by the council in the UK.
We have supported the Council’s work numerous times in the past and will continue to support good work. We found the support for Paul Uppal a bit shocking and were left wondering why support wasn’t given to the non-Sikh candidate who supported the Sikh Manifesto. We raised serious concerns on why it’s not beneficial for Sikhs to vote for Paul Uppal on factual grounds despite him not supporting the Sikh Manifesto.
It’s a wonderful thing the Council developed a relationship with Paul Uppal but Sikh agenda should have been in front rather than personal ties.
Here is Sikh Council UK’s response.
“I write to alert you that someone is exalting the Sikh Council UK and I on the internet. It seems to be due to envy at the continued success of the Council and on the back of the letters that I had written to a number of politicians across the parties in the last Parliament. One of them is Paul Uppal. They had all supported some aspect of the Councils work and it was only good manners to thanks them and wish them well as their term in office came to a close. We will also be writing to a few of them to congratulate them over the next day or so and start opening up channels of communication.
It is open knowledge that Paul had been very supportive in opening the door towards dialogue on correcting the legislative anomaly in relation to right to wear the dastaar in workplaces and a no of other areas. I have acknowledged it as it is the right thing to do.
The letter was sent to Paul Uppal on the 3rd of May 2015 and it would appear that he placed it on his Facebook late in the evening of the polling day on the 7th May. He could have done so sooner but clearly chose not to, nevertheless; that’s a matter for him.
The issue is that the authors portray him as being anti-Sikh and see my letter as a supporting a villain. I don’t share that view as the Councils experience of him has been different.
This person/s are/is also complimenting that I have got such influence and charisma that I managed to do favours for the Coalition government to the extent that they gave the Council a reward grant of £60k to support the volunteer return scheme and furthermore bestowed an MBE upon my good self. The person/s are/is probably not aware of British political processes and that nominations for Queens Honours are assessed by independent panels so can be forgiven for this error.
It goes further to imply I /Council have developed special relationship or understanding with British Government/SPGC/DGPC and Indians to the point that we don’t criticise them or pursue issues.
It is very humbling to be credited with such influence and skill but if there have been any successes from these special relationships they have been due to team effort and the Councils approach of engagement in constructive dialogue. It is true that the Councils tends to avoid creating a veneer of activity which leads nowhere or issue statements as pretend outcomes but we certainly keep focused on the desired outcomes.
I have been deeply humbled by the messages of support for the Council and I over the past few days. I will be delighted to respond to any specific questions to the General Assembly on Saturday 16th May 2015 for that’s where the ultimate accountability of the Councils activities lay. Normally I tend to ignore anonymous posts and practice forgiveness but on this occasion it is felt important by colleagues that a statement is issued to clearly set out the Councils position.
Sardar Gurmel Singh
Sikh Council UK