UK polls: 5 Punjab-origin MPs make it to House of Commons
Five Punjab-origin politicians entered the UK’s House of Commons on Friday after a historic election won by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Britain’s first turbaned Sikh MP and Labour Party candidate Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi retained his seat with an impressive 13,640 majority, having polled 29,421 votes from Slough in south-east England.
Veteran MP Virendra Sharma, another Labour Party candidate, who had been under pressure by forces within his own party, had a comfortable win from Ealing Southall with 25,678 votes.
Preet Kaur Gill, who had made history in the last election as the first British Sikh female MP, was re-elected from Birmingham Edgbaston with 21,217 votes. Seema Malhotra clinched Feltham and Heston with 24,876 votes.
Another Punjab-origin candidate Gagan Mohindra of the Conservative Party won from South West Hertfordshire by polling 30,327 votes. He is a member of the Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council and the county council’s cabinet member for finance, property and housing. He is also a member of the Conservative Friends of India, a lobby group within the party.
Dhesi hails from Raipur village of Jalandhar district and is nephew of Congress leader and SGPC member Paramjit Singh Raipur while Preet Kaur Gill belongs to Jamsher Khera village in the district.
Varinder Sharma belongs to Mandhali village which was earlier in Jalandhar district and is now in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. The family has a house in Mota Singh Nagar of Jalandhar where Sharma’s father Lekh Raj stayed till his last breath.
Seema Malhotra hails from New Jawahar Singh Nagar area of Jalandhar.
After winning the election, Dhesi tweeted: “Immensely grateful to the good people of #Slough for having again bestowed their faith in me. I won’t let you down and will be a strong, solid voice for you in Parliament and beyond. Thanks to #Labour activists, family and friends who campaigned tirelessly to help re-elect me”.
At Raipur village, the Dhesi family celebrated victory of their son by distributing the sweets. Villagers also extend best wishes to Dhesi’s grandfather Sarwan Singh and other family members. Dhesi was born in UK but did his primary education in Punjab. He studied at Shivalik Public School, Mohali, for four years and at Sri Dasmesh Academy, Anandpur Sahib, for two years before returning to the UK. His father Jaspal Singh runs a construction company in the UK.
In her public address after results, Preet Kaur Gill said she would like to thank people of Birmingham and family for immense support.
Her cousin Avtar Singh said they got news on a WhatsApp group in the morning. Her father Daljit was a social worker and moved to the UK in 1962. Preet visited India in 2017 after becoming the first Sikh woman to be elected as Member of Parliament in the UK.