01:34PM, Friday 17 November 2017
Labour politician Tan Dhesi has hit out at the online abuse he has received since becoming an MP.
Dhesi became the first turban-wearing Sikh MP when he swept to victory in his Slough constituency at the General Election in June.
But since taking on the role, he says he has been the target of ‘constant abuse’ from ‘the far-right, extremists, others who feel that I’m only interested in ‘my community’s issues’, or those from within my ‘own community’ who feel I don’t do enough’.
He posted on Facebook: “When people resort to abuse, they are actually doing a disservice to their own cause.
“I will do what I genuinely feel is right, rather than be forced by anybody to follow their priorities or their way of thinking.”
Dhesi said he had received criticism for not raising the plight of a Scottish Sikh national at Prime Minister’s Questions.
Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, is currently being detained in India with his lawyer claiming he has been tortured by police.
Dhesi added: “Since this important issue came to light, my staff and I worked over the weekend to discuss it with various people, highlighted it on social media and wrote letters to the Foreign Secretary and High Commission requesting action.
“Despite these considerable efforts over Sunday, when others would have been with their families, we have been facing verbal and online abuse from those that think a ‘Sikh MP’ is not doing enough and his Prime Minister’s Question should also be restricted to that subject.”
Dhesi’s first PMQ focused on the Western Rail Link from Slough to Heathrow.
The MP shared an abusive Facebook message as just ‘one example of someone from ‘my’ community’ who criticised him for focusing on the rail issue and not the case of Jagtar Johal, using swear words, saying he needed a ‘slap’ and calling him a 'fake Sikh'.
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