Indians never leave a chance to uplift their commitment and dedication. So not only in India but Indians will now be the part of British governing bodies as well! In a first Preet Kaur Gill, winning from Birmingham Edbaston has become the first Sikh woman to be elected to the British Parliament’s House of Commons. Preet Gill secured 24,124 votes to hold the seat in Birmingham Edgbaston for the Labour Party with a majority of 6,917.
“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. Being the first female Sikh MP was also a “huge privilege” and she said she hoped she would become “one of many” who would now come forward and get involved. “The fact there has never been one before, it’s a big issue,” she added. 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.
Similarly, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (also known as Tan), has won from the Slough constituency, becoming the first turban-wearing Sikh to be elected to the House of Commons. Dhesi said he was ‘humbled’ and wanted to serve the town where he was born and raised.
Interestingly, this will be for the first time that the House of Commons will have a record 12 Indian-origin MPs, which will be two more than the present record of 10 (five each from Labour and Conservative). The other Indian-Origin Winners include Alok Sharma, who is minister for Asia has retained his Reading West seat. Goa-origin Suella Fernandes (Conservative) and Virendra Sharma have retained their seats comfortably. Lisa Nandy (Labour) and Seema Malhotra (Labour) have retained their Wigan seat Feltham and Heston seats respectively.
The victories of Preet kaur Gill and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi is considered as a significant milestone for Sikh politicians in United Kingdom in this election. According to one of the political observer, “The Sikh community for generations has been a vital contributor to the economy and community, but for too long not represented in the decision making process in the Houses of Parliament….it’s great that we have someone from the local area as a voice for Sikhs there”.
Importantly, the United Kingdom went to polls on June 8th, 2017 after the British Prime Minister Theresa May unexpectedly called snap elections seven weeks ago to increase the slim majority she had inherited from predecessor David Cameron.