SIKH leaders from around Scotland have signed up to an open letter calling on Boris Johnson to sack Priti Patel "immediately" over "offensive" remarks.

Scottish centres and charities are amongst 200 Sikh organisations from around the UK to sign the letter that was sent to Johnson on Wednesday.

Gurdwaras in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are amongst the signatories, as are charities including women's organisation Sikh Sanjog and Sikhs in Scotland, whose food bank has been praised by the Prime Minister.

All now call on him to remove Patel as Home Secretary over comments she made in a US speech in which she referenced Daesh, spoke about proscribing four extreme right-wing groups spreading anti-semitic propaganda and stated that "Sikh separatist extremism has also caused considerable tensions in recent years".

The speech, given to the Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, coincided with one of the holiest dates in the Sikh calendar and just months after the Indian government dropped its bid to extradite three men from the West Midlands on terror charges.

They could have faced the death penalty if the bid had succeeded. It was based on evidence provided by Indian police officers who themselves had been convicted of involvement in disappearances, torture and murder and Gareth Peirce, who helped clear the Guildford Four, called the matter "extraordinary".

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The letter, coordinated by the Sikh Federation UK, has described Patel's stance as "deeply offensive", claiming the content of her speech has "alarmed the law-abiding British Sikh community".

It further criticises the UK Government's handling of the Jagtar Singh Johal case, which has not been designated as an arbitrary detention despite calls from MPs, and hits out at Patel for the Home Office's refusal to allow the Scot's Indian wife permission to live with his family. That decision has been overturned after a legal battle.

The letter, coordinated by the Sikh Federation UK, has also been signed by members of the public in areas including Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian and Argyll and Bute.

Stating that signatories are "appalled with the Home Secretary’s warped view of the British Sikh community", it goes on: "The Home Secretary and those who wrote her speech must immediately apologise and she should resign or be sacked for her offensive comments and actions towards the Sikh community or point out the specific incidents in recent years that led her to refer to Sikhs alongside Hamas and banned right wing groups."

At least one Sikh Conservative Party office bearer – Rashpal Hullait, the chair of Stoke Poges and Wexham Conservatives and treasurer of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservative Association – has publicly condemned Patel's comments as "ill-judged, baseless [and] inflammatory". He described them as "unbefitting the role of the Home Secretary".

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The Home Office and Tory peer Lord Rami Ranger, the chair of the British Sikh Association, have defended Patel’s comments. Ranger said: "Every British citizen who has taken an oath of alignment to Her Majesty the Queen must be loyal and work hard to become an asset to the nation. Engaging in criminal activities against any nation is punishable by law."

The UK Government says it is "committed to tackling those who spread views that promote hatred against individuals and communities and work closely with international partners to tackle extremism in all its forms".

On Patel’s reference to extremism, a spokesperson said: "The Government supports the universal right to freedom of expression. However, there is a balance to be struck and we are clear that this must be done within the law."

The National asked the Home Office for its reaction to the claims. However, no response was provided.

There are an estimated 700,000 Sikhs living in the UK including around 20,000 in Scotland, where the community is concentrated in and around Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee.