The 2021 census is set to list Sikhism as a distinct ethnicity rather than only as a religion.

In the most recent census in 2011, more than 83,000 Sikhs refused to tick any of the choices in the question on ethnicity, ­rejecting options such as ­Indian in ­order to write “Sikh” in the space for “any other ethnic group”.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is considering the inclusion of Sikhism as an ethnicity on the 2021 form, but had raised concerns over the issue of “public acceptability” and whether the move would have backing across Britain’s 430,000-strong Sikh community.

The all-party parliamentary group for British Sikhs offered to write to gurdwaras to assist the ONS with its public consultation and sent out letters about five months ago.

The Times has learned that MPs received 112 responses from temples representing more than 100,000 members.