First ever Sikh woman and turbaned man in UK Parliament now !

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi becomes the maiden turban-wearing Sikh and Preet Kaur Gill the first Sikh woman to be elected to the British Parliament’s House of Commons, results from the mid-term general elections showed today.

The victories of Dhesi and Gill, though not a first for Sikhs in general, is part of a significant milestone for Sikh politicians in United Kingdom this election. They add to the 10 Indian-origin MPs in the last parliament – five each from Labour and Conservative – who have retained their seats. While the majority of more than 50 candidates who share a connection to India lost, the 12 who won have set a record for Indian-origin MPs in the House of Commons.

Dhesi and Gill are from the Opposition Labour Party, which appears to have fared better than expected after Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise mid-term election seven weeks ago.

Dhesi won from Slough and Gill from Birmingham Edgbaston.

In Telford, Kuldip Sahota, another turban-wearing Labour candidate, lost narrowly by 720 votes. Senior Labour leader Keith Vaz, who was first elected from Leicester East in 1987, comfortably retained his seat. His sister, Valerie Vaz, also retained her Walsall South seat.

Alok Sharma, who is the Minister for Asia in the Theresa May government, retained his Reading West seat, while Paul Uppal, who lost narrowly in the 2015 election in Wolverhampton South West and was expected to win, lost to the Labour candidate.

Priti Patel, International Development Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, comfortably retained their Witham and Richmond Yorkshire seats for the Conservative Party. Shailesh Vara, their party colleague, also retained his Cambridgeshire North West seat.

In Fareham, Goa-origin Suella Fernandes (Conservative) retained her seat comfortably, while her party colleague, Resham Kotecha, failed to wrest Coventry North West from the sitting Labour MP.

Ameet Jogia, seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party, failed to wrest Brent North from Barry Gardiner (Labour), while Bob Blackman (Conservative) survived a scare from Navin Shah (Labour). Gardiner and Blackman are known to be among the most pro-India MPs in the House of Commons.

Virendra Sharma, who faced some uneasy moments during the campaign, retained his Easling Southall seat, while his fellow first-time party candidate, Neeraj Patil, lost narrowly in Putney to Education Secretary Justice Greening.

Lisa Nandy (Labour) retained her Wigan seat comfortably but her colleague Rohit Dasgupta lost by a heavy margin in the Conservative stronghold of Hamshire East. Seema Malhotra (Labour) retained her Feltham and Heston seat comfortably.





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