LEAMINGTON SPA, UK (February 7, 2015)—Earlier today David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom visited Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick, in the West Midlands in a bid to win over votes from ethnic minority groups such as the Sikhs; who have an estimated population of between 600,000 and 750,000 in the UK, and have made an “immense contribution” to the country according to the PM at last years Vaisakhi reception at 10 Downing Street.
The Prime Minister arrived at what is dubbed to be the largest Gurdwara outside of India this morning, and was greeted by members of the committee. He then joined the sangat in the darbar hall as the first part of his guided tour of the gurdwara, before making his way down to the langar hall and kitchen; greeting those doing sewa, and trying to make roti. Cameron then made his way to the reception hall in the basement to conclude his tour, where he took photos with the committee and sangat, he also spoke of the admiration he had of his trip to Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, and stated that it was one of the most peaceful and beautiful places he had ever visited.
The PM commented on the hospitable manner of the sangat and the British Sikh community as a whole, he then conducted a brief interview with Sikh Channel outside the Gurdwara before leaving.
However, with the general election coming up in May, it remains to be seen if David Cameron and his party will publicly back the Sikh Manifesto 2015-2020, a 10-point document outlining the main political goals of the British Sikh community over the course of the next 5 years. The manifesto was recently released by the Sikh Federation (UK) at Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall on 31st January; following a three-day National Sikh Convention in Wolverhampton in September last year. Party leaders Ed Milliband (Labour) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) have already commented on the campaign.
Labour party leader Ed Miliband said “I think the Sikh Manifesto 2015-2020, written by the Sikh Federation UK, demonstrates the commitment of British Sikhs to be actively involved with the political process, and is a great way of empowering the British Sikh community.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said “I congratulate the federation for all the hard work it has done to increase awareness and importance of social and political activism within the Sikh community.”
David Cameron has showed great admiration of the British Sikh community over recent years, and the visit to Gurdwara Sahib Leamington & Warwick has emphasised not that, but also his endeavour to increase votes from ethnic minorities, who in the past had predominately opted for the Labour Party. Nonetheless, it is without a doubt that the British Sikh community will place vast importance on the backing and support of the manifesto by the political parties when casting their votes for the general election this May.