It took 19 weeks, but finally I have had a response from Government on the Home Secretary’s inflammatory remarks comparing Sikh groups to far-right terrorists. Priti Patel didn’t have the decency to respond herself though and her minister as much as admits she had no evidence to back her claims.
Nearly three months ago I wrote to the Home Secretary to ask her to account for her remarks in a speech to a US think-tank. I took this up after over 150 Sikh organisations had written with their concerns to Government and been stonewall ignored.
The Home Secretary’s insinuation that there are British Sikh groups that pose a threat tantamount to anti-Semitic terrorist orgs was very serious. As I pointed out, a report on Sikh extremism commissioned and cited by her own department suggests otherwise.
The minister’s response puts the record straight and represents an embarrassing climbdown from the Home Secretary’s rhetoric. He offers no defence or evidence for her claims, and even admits that the Home Office doesn’t collect data on Prevent referrals by ethnicity or religion.
Priti Patel should not be waging these divisive political attacks on the Sikh community with no evidence to back them up. We have already seen what this can lead to with the West Midlands 3. The Home Secretary should apologise for her divisive, unevidenced remarks.
My letter and the response here: