Indian origin woman comes on-board in UK shadow cabinet

Labour Party includes Sikh woman in the 'government-in-waiting'

Diaspora

January 21, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

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Preet Kaur Gill, a candidate for the Labour party, is the first Sikh woman in the UK House of Commons.

Britain’s first woman Sikh Member of Parliament (MP), Preet Kaur Gill has been chosen by the Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to be a part of the Shadow Cabinet.

The shadow cabinet is the team of senior parliamentarians chosen by the leader of the opposition to mirror the cabinet in government. The opposition presents itself as an alternative government-in-waiting through it. Different members are appointed to lead specific policy areas for their party and to question and challenge their counterpart in the Cabinet.

Gill, 44, won her Birmingham Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 8 mid-term elections held last year. In July, she was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the British Parliament.

Gill, a councillor from Sandwell, is the first Sikh woman in the UK House of Commons. She was born and brought up in Edgbaston.

It was in the new year reshuffle that she was elevated to the post of shadow minister for international development in Corbyn’s “government-in-waiting”.

“We had no Sikh MPs prior to this election. So, Sikhs had no representation and we had no female Sikh representation. Parliament must reflect the people it serves,” Gill had said at the time of her election.

Besides her new title, Gill also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs. She 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.

“Pleased to make appointments to strengthen Labour’s frontbench which is a government-in-waiting. I look forward to working with them holding the Tories to account, developing our policies to transform our country and preparing to form a government for the many, not the few,” Corbyn said in a statement.

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