British Sikh Labour member to stand for election, hopes to become first ever turban-wearing MP

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, a British Sikh local politician, has been selected by the Opposition Labour Party as a candidate for the June 8 general election and is hoping to become the first turban-wearing Sikh MP in the House of Commons.

Known by his nickname of Tan, he will be hoping to hold on to the Slough constituency, where previous Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart won by a majority of 7,336 (15.2 per cent) in the 2015 election.

"I am humbled to be selected as Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Slough and hope to have the honour of serving the town where I was born and raised," said Dhesi, currently local councillor for Gravesham.

His selection by the Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) attracted some controversy as it goes against the party's policy to select women for seats previously contested by women candidates.

Dhesi is being backed by representative group Sikh Federation (UK), which has set up a steering committee to lobby for greater Sikh representation among parliamentary seats in the elections.

"We know there remains some controversy about Tanmanjeet's selection, but this is a matter for the Labour National Executive Committee (NEC)," a spokesperson said.

Tan Dhesi on the campaign trail.
Tan Dhesi on the campaign trail. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@tandhesi

"What we do know is Labour has selected a turban-wearing Sikh who has an excellent chance to become the first turban-wearing Sikh in the House of Commons and he will have our full support," he added.

Preet Kaur Gill, a Labour Councillor in Sandwell, is hoping to become the first female Sikh MP. She was selected earlier this week to replace Gisela Stuart MP in Birmingham Edgbaston and will be defending a majority of 2,706 (6.6 per cent).

 

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Senior Writer

Tushaar has five years experience as a journalist in founding two start-up newspapers. He worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. He enjoys reading and writing fiction in his spare time.

 

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