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Neena Gill

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Neena Gill
Member of the European Parliament
for West Midlands
In office
1 July 2014 – 31 January 2020
Preceded byNikki Sinclaire
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
In office
10 June 1999 – 4 June 2009
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byNikki Sinclaire
Personal details
BornLudhiana, Punjab, India
Political partyLabour
John Towner
(m. 1982; div. 2009)
Residence(s)London, England
Alma mater

Neena Gill, CBE is a British Labour Party politician. She served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the West Midlands first from 1999 to 2009, and then from 2014 to 2020.

Early life and career[edit]

Gill was born in Ludhiana, Punjab, India.[1] She emigrated to the UK with her family when she was ten years old. Her father was a businessman.[2] Gill's first job was working in a library at the age of 16.[3] She graduated with a bachelor's degree in social studies from Liverpool John Moores University in 1979.[4] She was vice president of the students union.[5] Gill later gained a postgraduate professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Housing in 1984 and in 1996, she completed the senior executive programme at the London Business School.[4]

After graduation, Gill became a trainee accountant but only worked for six weeks before leaving to become a housing officer at Ealing London Borough Council.[5] Aged 29, Gill became the chief executive of ASRA Group, making her the first female, first non-white and youngest chief executive of a UK housing association.[2][5] She then worked as the chief executive of Newlon Housing Group.[4]

Political career[edit]

Prior to Labour's electoral success in 1997, Gill worked with members of Labour's shadow cabinet to help develop the party's social policy.[2] In 1999, she was elected as the first female Asian MEP in the European Parliament.[6] Representing the West Midlands between 1999 and 2009, Gill held various positions, including President of the Delegation for Relations with India and President of the Delegation for Relations with South Asia and SAARC countries. She was also a member of The Legal Affairs Committee and of the Budgets Committee.

Gill was unsuccessful in her bid to be re-elected for a third term as MEP in 2009.[7] During her time outside of parliament, she worked as the vice president for corporate affairs (Europe and Asia Pacific) for software company SAS.[8][9]

Gill in 2017 discussing Brexit and India

In 2014, she was re-elected as one of two Labour MEPs (the other being Siôn Simon) for the West Midlands.[10] During this term, she was a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, special committee on tax rulings, financial crimes, tax evasion and avoidance, and part of the delegation for relations with India and the United States.[11] She was particularly active on financial regulation and was the rapporteur for the 2015 European Money Market Funds (MMF) Regulation.[4]

In 2017, Gill was one of two UK winners (the other being Conservative MP Priti Patel) of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour given to NRIs by the Indian government.[12] In the same year, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours.[13] In July 2018, Gill became an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.[5]

She was re-elected in the 2019 European parliamentary election as the sole Labour MEP for the West Midlands.[14] Gill remained a member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. In September 2019, Gill joined the delegation for relations with Japan as Chair and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly as Vice-Chair and S&D Co-ordinator.[15]

In 2024, she was selected as the Labour Party candidate in the Bromsgrove constituency at the 2024 general election.[16]

Personal life[edit]

She married Dr. John Towner, an environmental consultant, in 1982 and they have one son. They divorced in 2009.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Gill, Neena. UK Who's Who. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U17141. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "One of a kind". Politico. 2 April 2003. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  3. ^ "5 questions with... Neena Gill". The Parliament Magazine. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d Johnson, Steve (23 November 2014). "Political animal stalks EU money funds". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d "Honorary Fellow Neena Gill CBE". Liverpool John Moores University. 13 July 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Harman's office Thatcher U-turn". BBC News. 16 September 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  7. ^ "European elections 2009: West Midlands region". The Daily Telegraph. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Neena Gill, Member of European Parliament for the West Midlands (Labour)". University of Warwick. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Neena Gill". Women Economic Forum. 21 January 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  10. ^ "West Midlands". BBC News. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  11. ^ "8th parliamentary term". European Parliament. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards-2017". Ministry of External Affairs. 9 January 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  13. ^ "New Year's Honours 2017: CSV". gov.uk. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  14. ^ "European election 2019: Brexit Party tops West Midlands polls". BC News. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  15. ^ "9th parliamentary term". European Parliament. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Labour's parliamentary candidate Neena Gill joins campaign trail in Bromsgrove". Bromsgrove Standard. Retrieved 14 June 2024.

External links[edit]