Peoples Digest Online – Boris Johnson was reportedly confronted by a Sikh woman after he discussed alcohol during a visit to a Gurdwara.
The Foreign Secretary was visiting a Sikh temple in St George’s, Bristol where he made remarks about ending tariffs on whisky between the UK and India. But a Sikh voter who was there berated him for his remarks, asking: “How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple?” The Sikh religion forbids drinking alcohol.
Mr Johnson is said to have apologised after she told him about alcoholism in her family.
BBC politics reporter Pete Simson, who witnessed the exchange, said in a series of tweets: “Sensational gaffe by Boris. After promising free trade to end tariffs on whisky between UK & India, Sikh lady informs it’s against religion.
“She’s absolutely livid. Boris Johnson apologises. “How dare you talk about alcohol in a Sikh temple.
“She told him about alcoholism in her family. He’s apologised several times.”
A spokesman for Mr Johnson said: “He was simply making the point that a free trade deal with, for example, India could be huge for both sides.
“He pointed out that in India billions of litres of whisky are consumed every year but there is a 120 per cent (customs duty) on imports of Scotch whisky and wouldn’t it be great if we could have free trade.”
A source close to Mr Johnson said claims of a gaffe were “rubbish”.
The source said: “One lady expressed her views based on a personal situation but the other 30 attendees warmly welcomed his remarks.”
The source said Mr Johnson only said sorry when expressing sympathy about her personal story, and not as an apology.
Ms Johnson was in Bristol to support Conservative candidate Theo Clarke.