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Who Is Preet Kaur Gill? Indian-Origin UK MP Elected For Third Time

Preet Kaur Gill, the first Sikh woman MP in the UK, has been elected three times in a row in the UK's general elections. She represents the Labour Party.

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Rudrani Gupta
New Update
Image Credit: OneIndia/Sikhnet

Image Credit: OneIndia/Sikhnet

The Labour Party swept the UK Parliament general election in a phenomenal victory. After the Conservative Party dominated the House of Commons for 14 years, the Labour Party finally took over in majority with a major sweep in the 2024 general election. The result of the election was declared on July 5. Even more historic is the fact that 26 Indian-origin MPs have been elected this time around, among whom one of the elected MPs is Preet Kaur Gill, the first Sikh woman MP in the UK, who has been elected three times in a row in the UK's general elections. She represents the Labour Party.

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Who Is Preet Kaur Gill?

Preet Kaur Gill has always been vocal about Sikh issues in the UK parliament. She is a staunch follower of Sikh beliefs from which she imbibed the passion for social work. Until the current general election, she served as Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health since September 2023. In this role, Gill focussed on NHS issues like youth vaping, dentistry, healthcare access, children's health and more.  

Talking about her and the Labour Party's victory, she wrote on X, "An honour and a privilege to be re-elected again as MP for Birmingham Edgbaston. Thank you to everyone who put their trust in me. I will continue to serve the people and place I love,”

Gill was born to a Sikh family on November 21, 1972, in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Her parents, Daljit Singh Shergill and Kuldeep Kaur Shergill are Indian Sikhs. Gill's father worked as a foreman and then as a bus driver while her mother was a seamstress. She has six younger siblings

Gill is married to Sureash Chopra who is also a social worker since 2009. He is also the Vice President of the Local Government Association The couple shares two daughters. 

Gill's passion for social work

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Gill's father played an important role in inspiring her to do social work. Moreover, Baron Tarsem King of West Bromwich also pushed her to enter into politics. When Gill became the first Sikh woman to be elected as MP in the UK, she talked about how her father inspired her and would have been proud of her. She told the media, "He was president of the Smethwick gurdwara... and was involved in the community. He was very passionate and active and always said you should contribute and try to give something back. He died three years ago but he would have been immensely proud of me becoming an MP."

Gill received her primary education from Lordswood Girls' School and Bournville College. She then moved to the University of East London to graduate with a B.Sc in Sociology. Gill was the president of the Student Union in college and passed with first-class merit in Sociology and social work. 

Right after her graduation, Gill served as a social worker for street children in India and Israeli kibbutz with a focus on child protection in Waltham Forest and Birmingham. She held the position of children's manager in Birmingham from 2019 to 2017. 

Gill was elected as a Councillor of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and was reelected in 2016. She served as the Cabinet Member of the Public Health and Protection until 2018 when her term ended. 

Gill's entry into politics

With passion and experience in social work, Gill entered into politics in 2017. In April 2017, she was elected by the Labour Party to contest in Birmingham Edgbaston. With 24,124 (55.3%) votes and a majority of 6,917 (15.8%), she won the election and became the first Sikh woman MP in the UK's parliament. She was soon elected as a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

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The following year, she was selected by the shadow cabinet as International Development Minister which she shared with Dan Carden. In the 2019 general election, she was elected in Birmingham Edgbaston as a part of the Labour Party. 

In the Labour Party Leadership election 2020, she was elected as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, shadowing Anne-Marie Trevelyan. While Keir Starmer, whom Gill supported, became the leader. However, the department itself was abolished in September. After that, she shadowed the ministers of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, newly established on September 2, 2020.

Following a reshuffle in November 2021, Gill's position was renamed as Cabinet Minister for International Development with which she joined the Foreign, Commonwealth and Department Office. 

In 2023, she became Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health as  Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Edgbaston.

Gill also chairs several Parliamentary groups. She is the chair of the Co-operative Party Parliamentary Group and All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the APPG for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, the APPG for the Commonwealth Games, and the APPG for Aid Match and Vice-President of the Local Government Association.

Gill's roots in India

Despite her lifetime spent in the UK, Gill has not forgotten her Indian roots. She originally belonged to the village Jamsher in the Jalandhar district of Punjab. She often visits her village and remembers her childhood days of receiving letters wrapped in blue airmail envelopes and scribed in Punjabi. 

Gill is a staunch follower of Sikhism and believes that the religion has a message for the betterment of the entire humanity. 

Labour Party UK Elections Harpreet Kaur
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