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My Weekly Update - 16 June

This week, the House of Commons Privileges Committee published its report into former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Its key finding being that Mr Johnson deliberately and repeatedly misled Parliament.

This report of course comes just days after Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list was published with honours for those who participated in rule breaking at Downing Street when the rest of us made sacrifices and adhered to Covid rules. Rishi Sunak’s weakness in failing to block these honours is an insult to us all.

At a time when the country is continuing to suffer from the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, we have more chaos and infighting from the Conservatives who are once again showing they lack the stability that our country desperately needs.

I hear weekly from residents across Edgbaston who are struggling with the cost-of-living. They, like me, will be angry that once again the Conservatives are fighting amongst themselves. This energy would be better spent fixing our broken economy, on fixing the NHS or dealing with the asylum backlog.

We must end this cycle of managed decline. The people of Edgbaston – of Britain - need reassurance and a strong Government to deliver a prosperous economy. Only Labour can be trusted to deliver the change our country so desperately needs!


FCDO Orals

This week in Parliament, I asked the government how they plan on restoring Britain’s leadership in international development while they continue to slash aid funding.

Recent figures show that over 29 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan are now experiencing catastrophic hunger levels following a fifth failed rainy season in a row. Oxfam also now estimates that one person is likely to die of hunger every 28 seconds between now and July.

The government’s failure to help the poorest people on Earth fight famine is disgraceful. Under the Tories, and after four years of cuts to the aid budget, Britain risks becoming an international embarrassment.

I am fortunate, as the Labour Party’s shadow minister for International Development, to see day in day out the remarkable difference that international development policies, budgets and programmes can make. As Secretary of State for International Development, I would boost investment to tackle humanitarian crises and restore Britain’s reputation on the world stage.


Inaugural Edgbaston Youth Council meeting

It was a real pleasure to hear so many inspirational young voices in politics at the inaugural Edgbaston Youth Council event hosted by George Dixon Academy this week.

The Council was set up by Joanna Saeed, a sixth-form student at George Dixon Academy, who spent months working with schools in Edgbaston to bring together active young people in our constituency.

When I asked her about the Council, she said “It was wonderful to see people of all origins and races come together and discover how much we could all relate to one another.”

It’s really great to see schools come together to support young people to get involved in their local communities. I look forward to what the future holds for the Youth Council and will continue to support Joanna and the Council representatives as much as I can.


Women in Politics school visit

This week, I visited students at the University of Birmingham School to talk about my experience as a woman in politics.

I told them about my journey into the profession, how my father’s selflessness and strong sense of community inspired my career choice, and the joys that come with being elected Britain’s first female Sikh MP.

I was particularly impressed by the probing and considered questions that the students put to me about political life. It’s very encouraging to meet young people who are interested in politics and keen to get involved in their local communities.

I look forward to doing more school visits soon.


Local News

Midlands Connect is urging local businesses to share their views on the Midlands Rail Hub, whose proposals could add more than 14 million seats on the rail network each year and provide faster, more frequent, or new rail links for over 30 locations including Birmingham. A business case has been submitted to the Department for Transport to fund the rail improvements. The survey was extended for seven days on 9 June, with responses accepted up until midnight tonight. Please find the survey here.

The Mobile Household Recycling Centre will be visiting Leigham Drive (B17 8AT) in Quinton on Wednesday 21 June between 07:00 and 12:45. If you are in the area and have bulky household waste to dispose of then please come along.

This week, I am sure everyone across Edgbaston will join me in congratulating Woodgate Valley Urban Farm who have secured a £10,000 donation from the Morrisons Foundation to allow them to install a sensory room at the farm; and a £17,000 award from the Asda Foundation to install new ramps, fencing and pathways, to place raised planters around the pathways and to place new signage and learning boards on the site. I hope to visit soon!

The Dogs Trust has contacted me this week asking that I circulate advice around caring for dogs during warm weather. High temperatures can be extremely dangerous for dogs who are very susceptible to heat stroke, especially if left in a hot car. As their bodies work differently from humans it is very important for dog owners and members of the public to be able to recognise the signs of distress.

  • Walk your dog when it’s cooler; early morning or late evening; ensure your dog has plenty of water and shade all day; and remember, if you can’t hold your hand on tarmac for five seconds, then it’s too hot for your dogs’ paws.

  • If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 999.

  • Signs of heatstroke in dogs include hot panting, excessive drooling, drowsy and uncoordinated, vomiting, collapsing. If your dog shows any of these sigs, start cooling your dog with tap water (avoiding their face) and contact your vet immediately.

Best wishes,

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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