Preet Gill was born in Edgbaston, and works at both a local and international scale. Her work as Shadow Minister for International Development covers areas ranging from humanitarian policy and strategy to issues affecting children and youth. But this vital work has not detracted from her passion for local politics. Preet is Vice-President of the Local Government Association, and it was she who shed light on the mental health crisis in local schools this year.
Labour have held the seat of of Birmingham, Edgbaston for a long time. A high student population, combined with a Remain vote in 2016, should mean another victory for Labour this year – and yet, there are warning signs. The Brexit party could easily capture Labour leavers, and the refusal of the Liberal Democrats to enter into an electoral pact means that the Remain vote could be split this time, too. The huge proportion of young voters in this seat would do well to mobilise in large numbers to vote for Preet Gill – or risk waking up to a Tory MP on the 13th.
Team FFS: Hi Preet! Can you tell us why you think tactical voting is key in Birmingham Edgbaston?
Because of the electoral system we have, our elections are a winner takes all game. In marginal constituencies like mine where it is between me and the Tory candidate, a vote for anyone but me ends up being a vote for a politician that may be completely opposed to your values or interests for five years. As an MP I ask all my constituents to talk to me, because I will always listen.
Team FFS: Why do you back a Final Say on Brexit?
I support a Final Say because we’ve now had three years and a half years of debate in Parliament and the goalposts on Brexit have shifted time and again. The hard Brexit deal the Tories want to force through is a world away from anything that was debated during the referendum in 2016 and would be incredibly damaging for people across the country. By the time it goes through, we’ll have had two general elections and three different Prime Ministers. If they’re so confident it’s still what people want, what are they scared of?
Team FFS: Why are young people key in Birmingham?
Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, and we have three university campuses in Edgbaston. Young people could swing the election here if they turn out in force. I think people realise how important this election is for the future of this country. Particularly for young people, the issues at stake – like the climate emergency, mental health services, housing – could shape their lives far beyond the next election cycle. We all need to make our voices heard on December 12th.