Preet Kaur Gill, chosen as the Opposition Labour party candidate to contest in the June 8 general election hopes to become the first British Sikh woman MP in the House of Commons.
Gill, a Labour councillor in Sandwell, was selected by the Labour National Executive Committee’s (NEC) interview panel on Friday to replace Gisela Stuart, the sitting MP in Birmingham Edgbaston.
She will defend a Labour majority of 2,706 (6.6%) over the other parties, which will mean a reasonably tough fight for her.
“I am delighted I have been given the opportunity to become the next MP for Edgbaston where I was born and raised. I want to engage with the people of Edgbaston and with hard work, passion and determination I think we can achieve great things together,” she said.
Gill has served as a board member of the Sikh Network, which she believes has provided her with a unique platform and opportunity in the last two years to raise her political profile.
Sikh Federation (the UK), which is campaigning for her, said Britain’s Sikh community has high expectations of Gill to take up issues with the government if she makes history with an entry into Westminster politics in the June polls.
Bhai Amrik Singh, the chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), said: “I have known Preet and the family for over 30 years and she will be an amazing representative for those living in Edgbaston. We have full confidence that she will become the first ever Sikh woman in the House of Commons and we will do all we can to support her succeed.”
“In the last general election, we made a real difference in certain seats and the political parties know we can motivate large numbers on the ground to have an impact,” he said.
The group has set up a steering committee to lobby for greater Sikh representation in winnable parliamentary seats in the June 8 elections.