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Weekly update - 16 December

Updated: Jan 30

Nurses have this week gone on strike for the first time in the 100 year history of the Royal College of Nursing.

It is another badge of shame for this Government. Yet, the strikes were entirely avoidable.

Rishi Sunak and his health secretary drove nurses to this point as they refused to negotiate, and declined the nurses’ offer to suspend the strikes. The British public will be in no doubt who is to blame.

Strikes are the last thing the NHS needs. With record long waiting lists and our NHS so under resourced that nurses have been left understaffed, overworked, and burnt out.

There were no strikes in the NHS over 13 years of the last Labour government, but the cavalry is coming. Under the next Labour Government, we will undertake the biggest expansion of medical training in the history of the NHS, paid for by abolishing the non-dom tax status, to give the NHS the staff it needs.


Speaking to the Telegraph about my journey into politics

It was great to catch up with Maighna Nanu from the Telegraph. We spoke about my journey into politics.

Many of you may already know how my late father, Daljit Singh Shergill, greatly inspired me. Not only did he drive the local number 11 bus here in Birmingham, but he was the one who taught me the importance of contributing to society and the local community. I watched him tirelessly fundraise for our Gurdwara, deliver aid for those in Romania and he often took me with him when he went to check on vulnerable women arriving in the community who had issues with their families. These lessons of working to help others never left me.

We also spoke about Labour leader Ker Starmer and how he too has helped and supported me. His confidence in me has given me the opportunity to grow and really come into my own in politics. And it is under Keir’s leadership that I truly believe that Labour is on course to win a strong victory at the next General Election.


How are you coping through the cost of living crisis?

We are stuck with a government that are too focused on themselves, putting the Tory party first and working people second. Thanks to their direct actions, we’ve been left with lower growth, lower investment, lower productivity, and the lowest consumer confidence since records began. The only things that are going up are inflation, interest rates and bankers’ bonuses. In spite of this, I am proud of how Labour is truly leading the way to tackle this crisis with bold and practical solutions.

I know that the cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on so many residents across Edgbaston constituency but it is affecting people in different ways. It would be useful for me to hear from you about how this is impacting you and your family.


Holding Government to account on debt distress

This week as part of my role as Shadow Cabinet Minister for International Development I asked Andrew Mitchell MP what steps the Government is taking to engage seriously with China and to bring forward the incentives, the regulation and the legislation needed to force private creditors to the table?

This comes as the IMF has announced that three out of five of the world's poorest countries are now in debt distress. The last Labour Government cancelled billions of pounds in debt. Yet, any solution now to this issue depends on China, which receives 66% of all bilateral payments and private creditors like BlackRock. Millions of the world’s poorest depend on halting debt defaults.

Across the dispatch box, I was pleased to see my counterpart Andrew Mitchell agree with me on the urgent need to address this issue.

More broadly, the very appointment of Andrew Mitchell as Development Minister is a win for Labour and recognition of how we have been holding the Government to account.

The merger of the Department for International Development (DfID) with the Foreign Office was a huge mistake by the Conservatives and has been detrimental to millions of people’s lives around the world and to the global reputation of the United Kingdom.

Only Labour truly understands the importance of restoring the independence of development.


Meeting Santa at Four Dwellings Primary Academy

It was great to visit the brilliant Four Dwellings Primary Academy this week. After staff and children spent the start of the week undergoing a two-day inspection by the Academy Trust, they were rewarded with a well-deserved visit from Santa.

It was clear from the inspection results just how good they have been this year.

As schools across the constituency come to the end of term, I would like to wish all staff and students a Merry Christmas and hope you have a restful winter break.


Calling all volunteers to support with my reading programme

Do you have any spare time to volunteer as part of my reading programme for schools? This is a valuable project to support literacy development in schools and will see volunteers sitting with students to support them with reading.

Sessions are every Friday morning between 08:35 – 09:00. Volunteers will need to either already have, or be willing to undertake, a DBS check. If you can spare some time, I would appreciate any support that you can offer.

If you are interested in the programme, please contact me on 0121 392 8426 or email

Best wishes,

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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