In February last year, a turbaned Sikh had his turban pulled by a stranger who shouted abuse outside the Houses of Parliament. This appalling incident led me to submit an early day motion last year calling for Parliament to recognise April, the month of Vaisakhi, as National Sikh Awareness and History Month. Taking inspiration from the success of National Sikh Awareness Months established in Canada and California, the motion also recognised education as an effective method of combating hate. This motion gained the support of 100 MPs from across party lines and national borders.
To turn this motion into a reality, we formed a cross-party Parliamentary Steering Committee which I chaired and which included Rt Hon Pat McFadden MP, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve MP, Preet Kaur Gill, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Virendra Sharma, Alison Thewliss and Rt Hon John McDonnell MP.