Boris Johnson confronted by Sikh woman after 'whisky in temple' gaffe

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

Kaur also criticised Johnson for wearing an orange turban to the Nirman Sewak Jatha-Sikh Temple, Bristol, to campaign for Tory candidate for Bristol East, Theodora Clarke.

Well, he might be Foreign Secretary now, but he's still the same old Boris - as he enraged Sikhs by discussing whisky exports on a temple visit today.

BBC reporter Pete Simson tweeted that a woman in the temple was "absolutely livid" at Johnson's comments, and said, "How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple". Lib Dem shadow foreign secretary Tom Brake said: "This crass misjudgement has shown Boris Johnson is incapable of representing his own party at home, let alone representing Britain overseas".

At this point, a woman spoke up, pointing out to the foreign secretary, whose wife is of Sikh heritage, that drinking alcohol was against the tenets of the faith.

"Inheritance tax is not an issue - alcohol is".

"We have to bring Johnnie Walker or we have to bring whisky because as you know there is a duty of 150% in India on Scotch whisky".

Recounting the moment she took a stand, Kaur, a baptised Sikh, said: "People were trying to get Boris to stop talking about alcohol".

"And you are standing in a Sikh gurudwara and talking about alcohol in front of our Guru Granth Sabib, which is not right", she further says in a raised voice.

The foreign secretary of the United Kingdom was pulled to task by a female member of the congregation at Guru Nanak Prakash Singh Sabha Gurdwara, in Bristol, who scolded him for mentioning the deal in a Gurdwara Sahib.

She then told him about alcoholism in her family.

"There is a duty of 150% in India on imports of Scottish whisky".

"It is a requirement that Sikhs should not consume any intoxicants", he said. "But imagine what we could do if there was a free trade deal with India", he said, according to a video published online by the Bristol Post newspaper. Anyone (Sikh or non-Sikh) who has consumed alcohol or has tobacco on them is not allowed to enter a gurdwara, Sikh place of worship.

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

She said: "We do that on children so they can understand what young Sikh children will feel. There was no gaffe.The temple regulars loved him being there".

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