British-Indian Preet Kaur Gill made history in the UK mid-term elections by becoming the first female Sikh MP in the House of Commons. She represented the Opposition Labour Party and won the Birmingham Edgbaston seat by defeating ruling Conservative party rival Caroline Squire.
The 44 year old has been a longtime campaigner of better BAME (Black, Asian, Minor Ethnicities) and female representation in public offices. The Sikh Federation (UK) was among her biggest backers, along with the Sikh Network, where she served as a board member for a long time.
“I am delighted I have been given the opportunity to become the next MP for Edgbaston where I was born and raised,” she had said, on her selection as a candidate. “I’ve lived and worked in the constituency. I am the ‘daughter of a bus driver’ my father worked on the No 11 bus route for many years,” she says in a statement on her website, “I will continue to work very hard for all my constituents.”
According to Preet, it was her father and the late Lord King of West Bromwitch, UK’s first Sikh peer, who inspired her to join politics. “He encouraged me to ‘make a difference’ and to get the new generation to take on the mantle of serving their local community for a better Britain,” she says.
She has also worked in India with UNICEF and various NGOs for the betterment of children born in slums.