Keir Starmer blocks bid to make leading Sikh independence supporter a peer in ...

Keir Starmer blocks bid to make leading Sikh independence supporter a peer in 'extremism row' Senior public official Dabinderjit Singh Sidhu is denied peerage by Labour leader Mr Singh is a long-standing campaigner for a sovereign Sikh state in the Punjab On the day of the announcement he was told Sir Keir withdrew his nomination 

By Brendan Carlin Political Correspondent For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 02:11 GMT, 10 January 2021 | Updated: 02:11 GMT, 10 January 2021

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Sir Keir Starmer ditched plans to give a peerage to a leading Sikh independence supporter amid concerns over his alleged ‘extremist’ links, it was claimed last night.

But the Labour leader is facing calls to explain his decision after friends of senior public official Dabinderjit Singh Sidhu insisted it was ‘complete nonsense’ to say he was a fanatic.

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Sir Keir is also being urged to say whether he had bowed to warnings that the Indian government would be furious to see Mr Singh receive the honour.

Sir Keir Starmer ditched plans to give a peerage to a leading Sikh independence supporter amid concerns over his alleged ‘extremist’ links, it was claimed last night

Sir Keir Starmer ditched plans to give a peerage to a leading Sikh independence supporter amid concerns over his alleged ‘extremist’ links, it was claimed last night

Sources have suggested the timing of the peerage – ahead of a planned visit by Boris Johnson later this month – would have made it especially sensitive.

Mr Singh, a long-standing campaigner for the creation of a sovereign Sikh state in the Punjab in India, was due to be one of six new Labour peers announced just before Christmas. 

But The Mail on Sunday understands that on the day of the announcement, he was told Sir Keir had withdrawn his nomination. The move came even though the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which vets peerages on security service advice,

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