SIKHS are calling on Labour party officials to come clean over leader Ed Miliband’s ‘botched’ visit to their temple in Leamington.
Mr Miliband visited the Gurdwara Sahib on Tachbrook Drive to meet worshippers but he has come in for stinging criticism after press and television networks were told they could not attend.
The would-be prime minister donned a ceremonial turban during his visit as he met with Sikh leaders on Wednesday April 8 in a more private visit than temple regulars were expecting.
The Sikh Federation UK claim party officials imposed restrictions which went against the Sikh faith’s “open-to-all” ethos.
Federation national press secretary Gurjeet Singh said: “Labour officials need to come clean about Ed Miliband’s ‘botched’ Gurdwara visit.
“ITV News and Sky News reporters who were both told by Labour Party officials in the morning that the event was private and they should not attend.
“Labour officials have also given the impression there were no restrictions on the taking of photographs. This is simply not true as many present will vouch they were told by Labour Party and Gurdwara officials at least one hour before Ed Miliband arrived they would not allow any photographs to be taken inside the Gurdwara.”
The federation also claimed a row had broken out after Labour officials mistakenly thought an interviewer linked to the Sikh Federation would try to embarrass Mr Miliband by asking a non pre-agreed question.
Mr Miliband, seeing the minor altercation, is understood to have intervened and the approved question was asked.
The controversial visit made national headlines.
The Labour Party West Midlands press office had promised to send The Observer photographs from the visit, after telling us we could not attend, but none arrived.
No one from the office responded to our request for a comment, but national press reported the Labour Party had hit back saying it was untrue Mr Miliband did not want to be pictured at the Gurdwara.