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Boris Johnson condemned for discussing whisky exports during Sikh temple visit

Boris Johnson condemned for discussing whisky exports during Sikh temple visit

Boris Johnson was attacked by angry Sikh residents during a visit to a temple in Bristol, after telling them he would make it easier to trade alcohol between the United Kingdom and India.

While at the gurudwara, Johnson, who was seen wearing an orange turban, spoke about how a future Conservative UK government would increase free trade and sign a deal to abolish India's 150 per cent duty on imports of British whisky, the BBC reported.

However, a female worshipper took exception to the Foreign Secretary's words as she took him to task for daring to "talk about alcohol" in a Sikh temple.

He was at the Sri Guru Nanak Prakash Singh Sabha Gurdwara when he made reference to alcohol, in some way offending a few of the people there. And then made his point about a free trade deal with India and emphasised how that will be a reality once Britain exits the European Union.

'We have to bring Johnnie Walker, we have to bring whisky because as you may know there is a duty of 150% in India on imports of Scotch whisky so we have to bring it in duty free for our relatives.

She said: "You have just said that the main objective is to get the trade between India and England and the basis of that is alcohol which is in Sikhism against our religion so 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".

Mr Johnson is said to have apologised after she told him about alcoholism in her family.

Ms Kaur then told Mr Johnson that she had relatives who had suffered from alcoholism. Johnson apologised several times.

"Inheritance tax is not an issue - alcohol is". It is not, though, the view of every religion.

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

"I do think it is relevant to our considerations that whisky is a huge business in this country and a free trade deal with India would be of great value".

The foreign secretary was in Bristol trying to rally support for the Conservatives, but instead caused upset and offence when he discussed Scottish whisky in the sacred space.

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

"It is a requirement that Sikhs should not consume any intoxicants". "He said he was sorry to hear of her personal story, that was all". 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".