28/04/2017 15:34 BST

Labour Selects Sikh Woman Preet Kaur Gill To Fight Crunch Bellwether Seat In General Election

Parliamentary hopeful could become first Sikh woman in Commons.

PA Wire/PA Images
Eight of the nine candidates so far selected by Labour are women

Labour has selected a Sikh woman to fight a key marginal seat in the general election.

Preet Kaura Gill, a local councillor, will stand in Birmingham Edgbaston and will become the first Sikh woman in Parliament if she manages to fend off competition from the Tories.

Gill, currently a cabinet member on Sandwell Council, hopes to replace outgoing MP and Brexit supporter Gisela Stuart - whose seat has been continuously represented by women from both main parties since 1953.

She is a member of the Jo Cox Women In Leadership training programme, set up by Labour in honour of the Batley and Spen MP who was murdered last year, and reaction to her selection has so far been positive.


The Sikh Federation, which has been lobbying for more Sikhs to be given winnable seats since the general election was called last week, also welcomed the news.

“I have known Preet and the family for over 30 years and she will be an amazing representative for those living in Edgbaston,” said Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation (UK).

“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.”

Preet Kaur Gill is standing in Birmingham Edgbaston 
 Gill will defend a majority of 2,706.  The Tories will select their candidate, expected to be 2015 runner Luke Evans, on Friday evening.

She said her passion for politics was inspired by her late father and his close friend Lord King, who became the first Sikh peer in the UK.

“I am delighted I have been given the opportunity to become the next MP for Edgbaston where I was born and raised,” she added.

“I want to engage with the people of Edgbaston and with hard work, passion and determination I think we can achieve great things together.”