|Member of Parliament|
for Nottingham East
|Assumed office |
12 December 2019
|Preceded by||Chris Leslie|
Nadia Edith Whittome
29 August 1996
|Socialist Campaign Group (2019–present)|
Nadia Edith Whittome (born 29 August 1996) is a British politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nottingham East since the 2019 United Kingdom general election. A member of the Labour Party, she was elected at the age of 23, and became the Baby of the House as the youngest MP. She is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, a democratic socialist parliamentary group of Labour MPs.
Nadia Edith Whittome was born on 29 August 1996 in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, to Indian parents. Her Punjabi Sikh father emigrated to the UK from Banga, India at the age of 21. He first worked in factories and as a miner before giving immigration advice and running a shop. Her mother is an Anglo-Indian Catholic solicitor and former member of the Labour Party, who left in protest at the amendment of Clause IV of the constitution in 1995. Whittome grew up in a single-parent household, with a brother. Whittome attended a private school in Nottingham, between the ages of 7 and 11 and later attended West Bridgford School, an academy school. She also attended Bilborough Sixth Form College, sitting two A Levels. Whittome has lived in The Meadows, Top Valley, and West Bridgford areas of Nottinghamshire.
Whittome says she became interested in politics in 2013 due to the effects of the "Bedroom tax" and austerity on her local community. She worked in the constituency office of the Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Durham Pat Glass, Shadow Minister of State for Europe, during the 2016 European Union referendum campaign. She completed an access course at Nottingham college, and law at Nottingham University for two years, before dropping out for financial reasons. She contested the 2017 Nottinghamshire County Council election as the Labour candidate for the West Bridgford West ward, coming second.
Whittome was selected as the Labour candidate for Nottingham East on 28 October 2019. She was elected as the MP for the constituency in the December general election with a majority of 17,393 (43.4%). At the age of 23, she was the youngest MP in the House of Commons, and therefore gained the unofficial title of Baby of the House. The seat had been won by the Labour Party candidate at every election since the 1992 general election, and had previously been represented by Chris Leslie, himself a former Baby of the House.[a] Whittome is of Punjabi descent and the first BAME MP elected in Nottingham. She identifies ideologically as a democratic socialist.
Following her election, she said she would only be keeping the equivalent of "an average worker's wage", as determined by the Office for National Statistics, of £35,000 (after tax), and would donate the remainder of her £79,468 salary as an MP to local charities. Whittome initially supported Clive Lewis in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election but when Lewis withdrew, nominated Emily Thornberry. On 28 February 2020, Whittome announced that she would be voting for Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Dawn Butler for deputy.
In February 2020, Whittome organised a letter signed by 170 MPs demanding that foreign-born offenders not be deported back to Jamaica. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked as a part-time carer at a care home. Whittome appeared on Newsnight in April where she discussed shortages in PPE at her workplace. Shortly after her appearance on the show, she claimed that she had been fired from her job as a carer for "spreading misinformation". Her employer ExtraCare denied that there were any shortages in PPE at the care home, and also stated that Whittome had not been fired, but that her services were "no longer needed" as their own in-house care team could now meet their needs. In September, however, ExtraCare issued a statement in which they admitted that there had been shortages of PPE at the care home, and that Whittome had helped to resolve this through public appeals in March and April.
Following Keir Starmer taking over as Leader of the Labour Party in April 2020, Whittome was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. In response to the toppling of the Statue of Edward Colston on 7 June 2020, Whittome tweeted "I celebrate these acts of resistance" and called for "a movement that will tear down systemic racism and the slave owner statues that symbolise it".
In September 2020, Whittome was one of eighteen Labour MPs who defied the whip and voted against the Overseas Operations Bill. She said the bill was "anti-veteran, anti-human rights, and would effectively decriminalise torture". In response, she was sacked from her role as a parliamentary private secretary. In November, she signed an open letter condemning violence and discrimination against transgender people.
Whittome was critical of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, calling it "the next step in our descent to authoritarianism" and claimed the Bill was "born out of Priti Patel's fury at Black Lives Matter". In May 2021, alongside celebrities and other public figures, she was a signatory to an open letter from Stylist magazine which called on the government to address what it described as an "epidemic of male violence" by funding an "ongoing, high-profile, expert-informed awareness campaign on men's violence against women and girls".
During the 2022 United Kingdom railway strike that began in June 2022, she donated £2,000 of her parliamentary salary to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers strike fund, and also joined strikers at Nottingham railway station.
Whittome identifies as queer. She speaks fluent French and German. In May 2021, Whittome announced that she had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and would be taking a leave of absence. On 6 September 2021, she returned to her duties in the House of Commons. She is a vegan. Whittome has described herself as a baptised Catholic who does not follow any religion, and has taken affirmation rather than an oath of office.
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- Nadia Whittome [@NadiaWhittomeMP] (29 August 2020). "23 has been a whirlwind. ... 24, let's have you 🎉🎂" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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- @AbolishEton (17 December 2019). "Newly elected MP @NadiaWhittome "I went to a private school from aged 7–11 years old and my experience taught me why they shouldn't exist. Private schools entrench class segregation. Every child should receive a good education, from a school that is accountable and free"" (Tweet). Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via Twitter.
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- @NadiaWhittomeMP (13 January 2020). "I'm on my way to Westminster to lend my nomination to @EmilyThornberry to get her over the line" (Tweet). Retrieved 13 January 2020 – via Twitter.
- Rodgers, Sienna (13 January 2020). "Lewis pulls out of leadership race to allow recasting of nominations". LabourList. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- @NadiaWhittomeMP (28 February 2020). "I'm pleased to be voting for @RLong_Bailey and @DawnButlerBrent for Leader and Deputy Leader. Both provide the modern, future-facing, and principled politics that our party and country so desperately need. Read my statement here" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Windrush: 170 MPs call on PM to halt Jamaica deportation flight – BBC News". BBC News. 10 February 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- "Coronavirus: MP Nadia Whittome 'sacked' as carer after 'speaking out' about PPE". BBC News. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
- "Coronavirus: 'Sacked' MP resolves dispute with care home". BBC News. 16 September 2020.
- Sylvester, Rachel (9 May 2020). "Nadia Whittome: Britain's youngest MP on her sacking as a frontline carer". The Times.(subscription required)
- Locker, Joseph (8 June 2020). "Nottingham MP says she 'celebrates acts of resistance' after statue of slave trader Edward Colston torn down". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
- Whittome, Nadia [@nadiawhittomemp] (7 June 2020). "I celebrate these acts of resistance.
We need a movement that will tear down systemic racism and the slave owner statues that symbolise it. And we need to win a government that will always be on the side of this movement.
#BlackLivesMatter" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 March 2021 – via Twitter.
- Sabbagh, Dan; Stewart, Heather (23 September 2020). "Three Labour MPs lose roles after voting against overseas operations bill". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
- "Olivia Colman condemns 'violence and hostility' against trans women in open letter". The Independent. 25 November 2020. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
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- ""We're calling on you to act now": read Stylist's open letter to Priti Patel about ending male violence against women and girls". Stylist. Retrieved 20 May 2021.
- "Nottingham East Labour MP Nadia Whittome donates part of salary to local RMT rail strike fund". ITV News. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
- McLean, Moya Lothian (10 December 2020). "'As people of colour, it's important we don't fracture' – MP Nadia Whittome on community in the face of division". gal-dem. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
- "Nadia Whittome, first year law student talks about her interest in politics and experience to date! – MediaSpace – The University of Nottingham". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
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- Sylvester, Rachel. (2020). Whittome: Britain’s youngest MP on her sacking as a frontline. The Times. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
- Canton, Naomi (1 January 2020). "UK MP under fire for not taking oath on Gita". The Times of India. Retrieved 14 January 2022.