Gurinder Singh Josan first Sikh elected to top Labour panelUpdated: Apr 05, 2020 01:40 IST
Gurinder Singh Josan, a long-time member of the Labour Party based in the West Midlands, was on Saturday elected to its apex national executive committee (NEC) – making him the first Sikh on the key panel in the party’s history.
Josan, a businessman who was active in student politics and campaigned against racism and fascism, is one of three new members elected to the committee, besides Johanna Baxter and Carol Sewell.
The result was declared along with that of Keir Starmer’s election as the new leader of the party, defeating Indian-origin Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Josan, who was awarded the royal honour of CBE in 2019 “for political service”, has held several posts in trade unions, the local police and crime board, and health bodies. He is a founder and vice-chair of the Sikhs for Labour group within the party.
Josan said during the election: “If elected, I would be the first ever Sikh to be elected to Labour’s NEC and would do my utmost to represent all minority faith communities and BAME (black and minority ethnic) members”.
“It is vital the NEC looks more like the communities we represent and the country we aspire to govern…Labour is only successful when we reach out to people we don’t necessarily agree with on everything to build a diverse and election winning movement.”
The Sikhs for Labour congratulated Starmer on winning the leadership election: “We look forward to working with you to rebuild trust and confidence within the Sikh community,” it said in a message.