Sikh Council UK representatives attended the official launch of the campaign led by Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi for a memorial in London to commemorate the sacrifices of Sikh soldiers in the world wars and pledged to support the various work streams involved in the project.
Tanmanjeet Singh launched the campaign before a packed committee room in Parliament. An impressive £375,000 was committed in pledges from members of the community present during the event including a number of Sikh Council UK members. The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid attended on behalf of the Government and pledged to get behind the campaign including helping set up a working group, finding a suitable location in London and helping provide additional funding towards the project.
A large number of other MPs attended and spoke at the event including leaders of all the main opposition parties including Jeremy Corbyn (Labour), Nigel Dodds (DUP), Vince Cable (Liberal Democrats) and Liz Saville-Roberts (Plaid Cymru). Letters of support were also read out from Ian Blackford (SNP) and Caroline Lucas (Green). Other notable attendees included Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. The proceedings were presided over by the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow.
Sikh Council UK Secretary General Jagtar Singh said “I congratulate Tanmanjeet Singh on an excellent campaign launch and the support and financial commitments that have been secured in a short space of time. Many MPs spoke of his enthusiasm and commitment to this cause and I commend his leadership in uniting everyone behind this project. There were many moving and heartfelt speeches referencing the overwhelming and disproportionate contribution and bravery of Sikh soldiers to this country during the wars and it will be a fitting tribute to recognise their sacrifices as we mark the centenary of the end of the First World War this year. Sikh Council UK is committed to extending all support to Tanmanjeet Singh and a number of our members will be working within the project team.”