LONDON, UK—Ed Miliband has been criticised over the lack of prominent Sikhs in his party. Although Labour has traditionally had strong support among British Sikhs, a former councillor warned that it was losing ground to the Conservatives.
Speaking at an event in west London with Harriet Harman, the Labour deputy leader, Inderjeet Singh Nijhar said that he was seeing diminishing support for Labour, particularly among younger voters.
“In this constituency, we had the Prime Minister come last month to a Sikh businessman who’s won an award and he came to present that,” he said.
“Two weeks ago, another Sikh was elevated to the House of Lords by Cameron. I’m knocking on doors and they’re saying: look there’s no Sikh representation in the Labour party.”
Labour had several Sikh representatives in the past — the late peer Lord King of West Bromwich, and two MPs — but now it has none. Ms Harman conceded that “we have got to go faster and further”.
She said: “But we’ve got more minority ethnic MPs than all the other parties put together.”
A study by Lord Ashcroft, the Tory peer, found that 41 per cent of Sikh respondents had voted Labour in 2010, compared with 29 per cent of the electorate as a whole. Only 15 per cent voted Tory. However, two thirds of Sikhs said that, although they used to be indifferent to the Conservatives, this was changing.