This week I have been on the campaign trail with our fantastic Labour candidates in Birmingham, chatting to voters about the issues that matter most to them and our plan to make Edgbaston a cleaner, greener, safer place to live.
Whether that is our candidates’ work to tackle fly-tipping, put police back on our streets, or to support those struggling to make ends meet at our local food banks, people could see the hard work of our local candidates and that Labour is on their side.
When I spoke to people this week, one issue in particular seemed to come up time and again: the cost of living. As Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak fail to get a grip on the soaring cost of household bills, only Labour has a credible plan to ease the squeeze on people’s pockets. Labour would put a one-off windfall tax on record oil and gas profits, and use the money to take up to £600 off people’s household bills. On Thursday, Shell announced another £7 billion in profits for the first three months of this year. It is incredible that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak prioritise protecting big corporate profits over supporting working people.
Perhaps that is why in the elections this week, the Conservatives lost nearly 500 council seats across the country, and why Labour made big strides in all corners of the UK. Labour has won 3,000 of the 5,600 seats up for election across England and Wales, taking control of several councils including five from the Conservatives, and made significant gains in dozens of the seats we lost in 2019.
The result is a turning point which shows that people are looking for change and they are listening again to what our Party has to offer. I know that our new councillors will work hard every day to earn that support.
For the Conservatives, this result should be a wake up call. The other week, I called on the government to hold an emergency budget to tackle the cost of living crisis. They surely have to act now.
Labour gains in Harborne and Quinton!
I am delighted that our constituency has elected new Labour councillors in both Harborne and Quinton - taking seats from the Conservatives.
It is a huge credit to the hard work of councillors Lauren Rainbow, Sam Forsyth, Martin Brooks and Jayne Francis, who I know will work tirelessly for Quinton and Harborne over the next four years. They ran a great campaign and have our community at their heart.
Elsewhere in Edgbaston, we also came within tens of votes from taking seats from the Conservatives in Bartley Green and Edgbaston. Commiserations to Elaine, Paul, Bal and Marie who ran great campaigns and ran it so close. The result in Bartley Green is the biggest turnaround in votes in 20 years! In North Edgbaston, it’s wonderful news that Cllr Sharon Thompson and Marcus Bernasconi held their seats too.
I’m delighted that my constituents have put their trust in Labour to deliver for them for another four years. They are a great team and I know they are raring to get to work to deliver on their campaign pledges.
To learn more about your new councillors, or get involved with our community campaigns, click the link below.
Birmingham Forum for Global Challenges
This week it was my pleasure to join the Forum for Global Challenges at the University of Birmingham, joining an expert panel to discuss the issue of global gender equality and women’s political participation.
According to UN Women, based on current progress, it will take until 2063 to achieve gender parity around the world in our national legislative bodies.
It is not until the year 2152 that we will reach gender equality in the highest positions of power, with Heads of State or government.
I spoke about my ambitions for international development under a Labour government: committed to tackling the deep-rooted, structural gender inequalities which pervade societies the world over, and to increase women's political participation through grassroots social movements.
Labour is serious and ambitious about what we can do with power to change women’s lives: from our green paper to tackle violence against women and girls, plans to strengthen mandatory pay gap reporting by giving women a "right to know", and put gender equality at the heart of our work around the world.
With women's rights are under attack across the world, and it is more important than ever that we form a united front in their defence.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton