Candidates Stories

During the course of the next few weeks, in the lead up to the general election on June 8th, we host some stories written by women who are standing for election. Some are fighting for a seat they already hold, some standing for the first time, some for brand new parties, some in development seats, some in safe seats. Each for a different party. They will share what it's really like to camapign, to shed some light on the process and inspire other women to stand next time. 


Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: Scottish national party, ochil & south perthshire

Tasmina was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ochil and South Perthshire in May 2015, and has served as the Scottish National Party Trade and Investment spokesperson, Deputy Shadow Leader of the House in the House of Commons, and the SNP's National Women's and Equalities Convener. She is standing for re-election. A solicitor and businessperson, and a former actress, Ahmed-Sheikh founded and formerly chaired the Scottish Asian Women's Association.

daisy cooper, liberal democrats, st albans

Daisy is a high-profile candidate within the Lib Dems having come second in the 2014 race to become Party President, and having stood for Parliament before. She lives in the heart of the St Albans and is campaigning against a hard BREXIT, for improved local NHS services and for more affordable and reliable trains. Daisy is currently the Joint Executive Director of Hacked Off. Set up in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, Hacked Off campaigns with victims of press abuse and intrusion for a free and accountable press. Previously Daisy worked in Commonwealth affairs for 10 years - campaigning for improved LGBT+ rights abroad and against human rights violations in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. Daisy was appointed in October 2016 as the Party's National Candidate Diversity Champion.




kirsty finlayson, Conservatives, East ham

Kirsty Finlayson is a trainee solicitor in the City of London and has lived in East London since 2015. She was inspired to stand for parliament when she worked for Anne Milton (former MP until parliament was dissolved).

Kirsty has degrees in Politics and Law and is currently Deputy Chairman of Vincent Square Conservatives and Bethnal Green & Bow Conservatives. Her interests outside of local politics are justice, mental health and the environment.


cllr preet gill, labour party, edgbaston

Preet Kaur Gill is contesting Birmingham Edgbaston and will become the first Sikh woman in Parliament if she manages to fend off competition. Preet is currently a cabinet member on Sandwell Council, hopes to replace outgoing MP and Brexit supporter Gisela Stuart - whose seat has been continuously represented by women from both main parties since 1953. She is a member of the Jo Cox Women In Leadership training programme, set up by Labour in honour of the Batley and Spen MP who was murdered last year. Preet is a Director for Spring Social housing Board and is also a Bank Inspector for Care Quality Commission. Preet was also vice chair of the West Midlands Race and equality advisory board and actively campaigns on local and national matters, particularly human rights issues.

harini iyengar, womens equality party, vauxhall

Harini is a Barrister specialising in the law on Brexit/EU, Employment, Equality, Education, Data Protection and Procurement. She is also Governor of London Metropolitan University and an external trustee of Oxford University Student Union.  She sits on the steering committee of the Temple Women’s Forum, is a formal mentor for Cityparents and is the Spokesperson for Equal Representation for the Women's Equality Party. She stood for election to the Greater London Assembley in 2016.  She is a single parent to three children. 


debra pickering, scottish greens, falkirk

Debra Pickering is originally from West Cumbria. The daughter of a shop worker and a miner and fully grounded in socialist principles. She has lived in Scotland for 20 years and in Falkirk for 12 of those. She lives with her husband Alan and West Highland Terrier called Sookie. She has 2 grown up daughters and one recent granddaughter. She is a trained psychotherapist with particular interest and experience in the field of addictions. She is one of three Scottish Green Party candidates contesting Parliamentary seats in Scotland.