Salvinder Singh Dhillon will be standing for Respect in the Ealing Southall parliamentry by-election in west London on Thursday 19 July. He stood for Respect in Green ward, Southall, in the council elections two years ago, coming second.
Salvinder was selected as candidate at a meeting of 70 people on Tuesday of this week.
Salvinder told Socialist Worker, “I was brought up in Southall, having arrived here in 1960 and have been an active organiser in the Indian Workers Association. I’ve seen the deterioration of the area – environmentally and in terms of housing.
“Health care locally has suffered from hospital queues and a lack of beds and GPs. Asthma, diabetes and heart disease are on the rise. The first time I stood for election, in 2001 as an independent, was because there had been a death in the family – a child had died just after birth.
“I feel strongly about the provision of services locally and about the premature deaths of new born children.
“I got involved in Respect through the anti-war movement.
“It fights for workers’ rights. This is something dear to my heart having helped build solidarity for the Gate Gourmet workers’ struggle. I’ll be doing the same for postal workers fighting to defend their service and for a living wage.
“As someone from a Sikh background, unity between all the communities of this area is something that matters to me. Together we can make a difference.
“Now is the time for voters to send a message to New Labour and Gordon Brown that we are fed up with war and privatisation.
“Now more than ever we need a party that will defend the welfare state and support Londoners struggling to keep their jobs and improve wages that are being eaten away by inflation.”
Richard Brackenbury, a local Respect campaigner, reports, “Last Sunday we leafleted over half the constituency, ensuring people knew Respect will be contesting the by-election.
“We got a good response with several offers of support including a taxi driver who offered to deliver leaflets for us. We will be meeting each morning and each evening to go out leafleting and canvassing between now and 19 July.
“Respect is asking every member and supporter from across the country who possibly can to come to Ealing Southall on the weekend of 14 and 15 July.
“Meanwhile if you can help at any time please contact me on 07774 936 556.”