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John McDonnell: One of the issues that we raised in last year's debate was the importance of funding for gurdwaras. We wanted to establish the principle that the "connecting communities" funds could be re-used to support them.
Some of the discussions with community support organisations prompted consternation in the Punjabi community in Britain about the proscription of the International Sikh Youth Federation, which we envisaged as a key organisation working in the community for peace and harmony generally.
Angela Eagle: I understand my hon. Friend's concern about the proscription of any organisation, but I assure him that this was not done lightly or without appropriate information. If my hon. Friend wants to make any other representations, I shall naturally be more than happy to hear them.
Kabbadi sounds like an interesting sport. As one who suggested that chess should be classed as a sport and is still trying to achieve that aim after a number of years, I know how difficult it is to introduce new sports, especially those involving rough and tumble. I wish the Kabbadi Association in Britain well, and hope that the sport spreads.
Fiona Mactaggart: My hon. Friend the Minister mentioned kabbadi and the issue of civic education and giving responsibility to the community. One of the problems is that those messages are contradicted in practice by the way in which some people are treated when they seek entry to Britain as visitors. In New Delhi, more than in any other post on the subcontinent, would-be visitors are pre-sifted and not properly given a chance to make their case before an entry clearance officer. Perhaps
Angela Eagle: I take my hon. Friend's point. In mitigation, all I would say is that the New Delhi post is especially busy and has a huge throughput. I will certainly draw my colleagues' attention to the points she has made. We need to look at work permits, which my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington mentioned, to see how we can achieve an appropriate balance and deal with everyone fairly, quickly and efficiently. That is often difficult to achieve, but I assure my hon. Friends that the ministerial team at the Home Office are spending much time considering how to do so.
The debate has done much to remind us all of the importance and benefits of living in a diverse society, and it has reinforced the reminder given by my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham (Mr. Lammy) during Tuesday's debate on Bradford that we must not lose sight of the considerable examples of success in many of our multi-ethnic communities. It is right to concentrate on problems, but it is also important to concentrate on the positive aspects of diverse community life. Therefore, I again congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington on bringing this subject before the House.
The Government welcome the positive contributions made by the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh members of the Punjabi community in Britain, and we all share the vision of a society free from prejudice in which differences between religions and ethnic communities are not only respected and valued, but celebrated and promoted. We will continue to work with the Punjabi community and all communities to ensure that that development continues. As my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary said in the House last week,