Tory candidates sign ‘Hindu manifesto’ immigration pledge despite border stances

Tory candidates sign ‘Hindu manifesto’ immigration pledge despite border stances

WATCH: Charlie Peters discusses the Conservatives' Hindu manifesto

GB News
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters


Published: 20/06/2024

- 22:14

Updated: 21/06/2024

- 19:36

Hindu manifesto urges politicians to make it easier for elderly Hindus to move to Britain

Several Conservative candidates have signed a ‘Hindu Manifesto’ that campaigns for looser immigration rules for elderly Hindus and religious workers, GB News can reveal.

Tory candidates Bob Blackman, Theresa Villiers, Laura Farris and Jogia Ameet have all supported the manifesto, which was launched earlier this month.


The Hindu Manifesto also calls for those who commit “microaggressions” against Hindus to specific prosecution as “anti-Hindu hate (Hinduphobia).”

The manifesto calls for more language schools and for greater support for the funding of state-funded Hindu faith schools.

Stephen Evans, the CEO of the National Secular Society, told GB News that politicians should resist “pandering to sectional interests.”

He added: “Allowing sectarianism to creep into our politics can only lead to more ethnic and religious tensions and division.”

Tory candidates Bob Blackman, Theresa Villiers, Laura Farris and Jogia Ameet have all supported the manifesto

The Hindu Manifesto/PA

‘The Hindu Manifesto’ contains several more Hindu-specific demands, including calls to relax visa rules for dependents and elderly parents of Hindus already in the UK, making it easier for them to move to Britain.

The manifesto, produced by campaign group “Hindus for Democracy,” also asked for the Religious Worker visa to be expanded.

Their signatures on these relaxed immigration pledges come despite James Cleverly boasting about reducing dependents’ visas while Home Secretary.

In the Tory manifesto, the party says that in the last year it has 'Ended the ability of almost all international students and all care workers to bring dependants.'

It also says that the party has 'Ensured those sponsoring dependants can support them financially, by raising the minimum income for family visas to £38,700.'

Support for ‘The Hindu Manifesto’ has been criticised by several Conservative campaigners.

Tory activist Sam Bidwell told GB News: “It's disappointing to see Conservative candidates engaged in cynical sectarian campaigning. 'The Hindu Manifesto' calls for crackdowns on ‘microaggressions’ against Hindus, and a relaxation of visa rules for dependents of UK Hindus.

Bob Blackman, the Conservative candidate for Harrow East, was photographed alongside Theresa Villiers at the launch event of the manifesto earlier this month

Jogia Ameet, the candidate for Hendon, said he was supporting the proposals in the manifesto and that he was a “lifelong active member of a number of organisations involved in putting together this manifesto"

“This is not in our national interest, and the Party should not be compromising on major policy issues in order to pander to sectarian campaign groups.”

Bob Blackman, the Conservative candidate for Harrow East, was photographed alongside Theresa Villiers at the launch event of the manifesto earlier this month.

Laura Farris, the Tory candidate for Newbury, said that it was a “pleasure” to sign the manifesto earlier this week.

Jogia Ameet, the candidate for Hendon, said he was supporting the proposals in the manifesto and that he was a “lifelong active member of a number of organisations involved in putting together this manifesto.”

The Tory candidates signing the Hindu Manifesto comes amid recent concerns about sectarian political campaigning ahead of the July 4 General Election vote.

Several independent candidates have campaigned on an explicitly pro-Palestinian message.

Earlier this year, ‘The Muslim Vote’ initiative was launched to create a “powerful, united force” of 4 million Muslim voters in Britain to campaign for “Peace in Palestine.”

This week Tory candidate Marco Longhi defended a letter addressed to British-Pakistani and Kashmiri voters in Dudley, which was criticised for highlighting his Labour opponent’s Hindu surname.

Aman Bhogal, a former Tory parliamentary candidate, said: "Any pressure group manifesto or narrative which seeks to push political aims by using religion or pushing sectarian separatism, serves only to further the narrow interests of the fringe elements driving division in the name of so called community interests."

He added: "Any politician endorsing sectarian narratives would appear to be caught in a desperate trap of appeasement, prostrating at the altar of identity politics."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Our Hindu community exemplifies the best of British values – like family, responsibility, enterprise and generosity. We have some of the strongest legislation in the world which aims to protect Hindus from both racially and religiously motivated crime.

“In government, the Conservatives have worked with police and community partners to monitor and combat hatred towards Hindus – and in 2023/24, we provided £3.5 million for protecting places of worship, including for Hindu temples.

“We remain committed to defending Freedom of Religion or belief for all, and promoting respect and tolerance.”

The Hindu Manifesto did not respond to requests for comment.

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