Boris Johnson in Scotch blunder at Sikh temple

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been reprimanded by Sikh worshippers after speaking about tax on Scotch in India while visiting a Sikh temple in Bristol.

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson offended worshippers by talking about alcohol at a recent visit to a Sikh temple in Bristol

As reported by The Telegraph, Johnson’s comments on alcohol in a place of worship weren’t well received, with Balbir Kaur exclaiming, “How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple.”

According to The Telegraph, Johnson said: “One of the consequences of having so many Sikh relatives is that whenever we go to India, to Mumbai or to Delhi, we have to bring ‘clinkie’ in our luggage.

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

“Imagine what we could do if there was a free trade deal with India – which there will be. You are talking hundreds of millions of pounds of new exports and more exports is great for a fantastic export city like Bristol.”

Kaur took umbrage at Johnson’s comments, which she described as “disrespectful”. “I wouldn’t be wanting to put somebody in power who wants to put more alcohol in India, which is causing lots of problems at the moment. I am a practicing Sikh and to me that is absolutely outrageous,” she said.

Johnson, who was visiting the temple in St George as part of the 2017 General Election campaign, apologised to the worshippers for having caused offence.

A spokesperson for Johnson said: “He was simply making the point that a free trade deal with India could be huge for both sides pointing out that in India billions of litres of whiskey are consumed every year.”

Local website Fishponds Voice tweeted: “I think it’s fair to say Boris Johnson got a mixed reception from Sikhs in St George today”. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Global Head of Marketing

ATOM Brands
Tunbridge Wells, GB

Sales Executive

Three Wine Men
Home-based but must be available to travel throughout the UK with frequent trips to London, GB

Senior Sales Operations Executive

Enotria&Coe
Park Royal, London, GB

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

On Trade & Corporate Accounts Manager

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Customer Service Assistant

The Champagne Company
Birmingham, UK

Key Account Manager - Distilling Sector - Scotland

Boortmalt
Scotland - call for exact details, UK

UK Brand Ambassador - Ableforth’s

ATOM Brands
Field-based, UK

Wine Sales Consultant

VSF GROUP
Valbonne, South of France, FR

UK Brand Ambassador

Mirabeau en Provence
London, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2018

VinoVision Paris

Paris,France
12th Feb 2018

Vinisud

Montpellier,France
18th Feb 2018
Click to view more

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th January 2018

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

Deadline : 23rd February 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more