By Asia Samachar Team | BRITAIN |
This is a major breakthrough for the Sikh presence in British Labour Party. For the first time, a Sikh has been elected to political party’s national executive committee (NEC).
Gurinder Singh Josan, a Labour member since he was 16 years old, was elected for a vacant position to the NEC in an election that closed on Saturday (4 April).
“Now, for change and for putting members first, tackling antisemitism and a broad-church Labour Party,” he said in an entry at his personal Facebook page after winning the seat. He is also the founder and vice chair of Sikhs for Labour.
Labour’s NEC is made up of representatives from different stakeholder groups – including members, trade unions, the shadow cabinet, backbench MPs, local government, socialist societies, Scotland and Wales, as well as the leader, deputy leader and treasurer of the Labour Party.
NEC members hold an important role in holding the general secretary and party leadership to account. It also plays a role in selecting candidates for elections, wrote an NEC member.
In the run-up to the elections, Gurinder had said: “The experiment of the last few years has clearly failed and the custodians of that experiment, those who led it, need to accept their role in that failure… Enough is enough!”
He said the NEC election gave members an opportunity to improve the diversity and representation of member reps on Labour’s most important decision-making body and to cement the ‘broad-church’ Labour Party that wins elections.
If elected, he noted that he would be the first ever Sikh to be elected to Labour’s NEC and would do his utmost to represent all minority faith communities and BAME members. “I will defend the ‘broad-church’ traditions of the Labour Party,” he said.
He will be a powerful voice for those not in the London bubble, remarked one of his supporters in an online entry.
In the same election, Labour Party elected Sir Keir Starmer as its new chief. He has appointed Preet Kaur Gill, the first British Sikh female MP, as the Shadow International Development Secretary.
Preet and fellow lawmaker Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi were first election to the parliament in the 2017 snap elections. They both won again the December 2019 general elections which was Conservative Party storming to a decisive victory under Boris Johnson.
History making Sikh MPs back in British Parliament (Asia Samachar, 13 Dec 2019)
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