Boris Johnson causes fury in Sikh temple with unfortunate alcohol remarks

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Boris Johnson sparked fury among the Sikh community during a visit to a temple in Bristol today, as he said he would make it easier to trade alcohol between the UK and India.

Many Sikhs believe it is wrong to drink alcohol, yet the Foreign Secretary appeared ignorant of this fact, saying he wanted to boost the whisky business with a free trade deal, according to The Independent.

Johnson, a figurehead of last year's Brexit campaign, said: “I hope I’m not embarrassing anybody here by saying that whenever we go to India - Mumbai or to Delhi - we have to bring clinking in our luggage. We have to bring Johnnie Walker, we have to bring whisky."

Whilst the majority of the crowd was outraged at the comments, many witnesses said one woman was particularly furious.

The woman reportedly named as Balbir Kaur said: "How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple. You are standing in a Sikh [temple] talking about alcohol which is absolutely outrageous, it's absolutely not right."

Johnson then responded by saying: "I’m very sorry if you think that alcohol is a bad thing, I understand your point of view. It is not, though, the view of every religion. There are plenty of Sikhs who are good and practicing Sikhs who don’t take your attitude.

"I do think it is relevant to our considerations that whisky is a huge business in this country and a free trade deal with India would be of great value."

But Kaur then revealed she had relatives who had problems with alcohol.

Reports have also claimed other people at the temple told the foreign secretary that if he had said the same thing in India, he wouldn't have left the temple alive.

A Conservative spokesperson said: “One lady expressed her views based on a personal situation but the other 30 attendees warmly welcomed his remarks.”

However other witnesses have hit back and said this was not the case, as most people were angry.