Nadia Whittome

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Nadia Whittome

Official portrait of Nadia Whittome MP crop 2.jpg
Whittome in 2019
Member of Parliament
for Nottingham East
Assumed office
12 December 2019
Preceded byChris Leslie
Majority17,393 (43.4%)
Personal details
Born (1996-08-29) 29 August 1996 (age 24)
Nottingham, England
NationalityBritish
Political partyLabour
Other associationsSocialist Campaign Group
Websitenadiawhittome.org

Nadia Edith Whittome[1] (born 29 August 1996) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Nottingham East since the 2019 general election. 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 parliamentary group of Labour MPs.

Early life[edit]

Whittome was born on 29 August 1996 in Nottingham, England.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[5] Whittome grew up in a single-parent household, with a brother.[4][6] Whittome attended Hollygirt School, a private school in Nottingham, between the ages of 7 and 11[7] and later attended West Bridgford School, an academy school.[8] Whittome has lived in The Meadows, Top Valley, and West Bridgford areas of Nottinghamshire.[9]

Whittome says she was politicised in 2013 due to the effects of the "Bedroom tax" and austerity on her local community.[6][10] 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,[5] and law at Nottingham University for two years, before dropping out for financial reasons.[11] She contested the 2017 Nottinghamshire County Council election as the Labour candidate for the West Bridgford West ward, coming second.[1][8]

After university, she was employed as a hate crime project worker and a carer.[5][4][12]

Prior to her election, she was a national committee member of the pro-Remain organisations Another Europe is Possible and Labour for a Socialist Europe.[13][14][15]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Whittome was selected as the Labour candidate for Nottingham East on 28 October 2019.[11] She was elected as the MP for the constituency in the December general election with a majority of 17,393 (43.4%).[16] 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.[6][17] 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.[18][a] Whittome is of Punjabi descent and the first BAME MP elected in Nottingham.[19] She identifies ideologically as a democratic socialist.[20]

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.[5] Whittome initially supported Clive Lewis in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election but when Lewis withdrew, nominated Emily Thornberry.[21][22][23] On 28 February 2020, Whittome announced that she would be voting for Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Dawn Butler for deputy.[24]

In February 2020, Whittome organised a letter signed by 170 MPs demanding that foreign-born offenders not be deported back to Jamaica.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27]

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.[28]

In response to the toppling of the Statue of Edward Colston, 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".[29][30]

In September, 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.[31] In November, she signed an open letter condemning violence and discrimination against trans people.[32]

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”.[33]

Whittome actively uses the social media TikTok to boost engagement particularly among youger generations.[34]

Personal life[edit]

She identifies as queer.[35] She speaks fluent French and German.[36][37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Leslie won the seat in the 2017 general election as a Labour candidate before leaving the party in February 2019 to join Change UK.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "West Bridgford West". Nottingham County Council. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  2. ^ Nadia Whittome [@NadiaWhittomeMP] (29 August 2020). "23 has been a whirlwind. [...] 24, let's have you 🎉🎂" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Lowe, Yohannes (14 December 2019). "Youngest MP elected in 2019 intake vows to give half her salary to local charities". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.(subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c Canton, Naomi (13 January 2020). "'Will work to build solidarity between South Asians': UK's youngest MP, Indian origin Nadia Whittome". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Hinsliff, Gaby (20 January 2020). "Nadia Whittome, Britain's youngest MP, on race, Rees-Mogg – and taking a massive pay cut". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "Nadia Whittome: Youngest MP had been looking for temp work". BBC News. 16 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  7. ^ @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.
  8. ^ a b "Labour selects all-women candidates for Bridgford" (PDF). West Bridgford Local News. January 2017. p. 11. Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  9. ^ Warburton, Tom (10 November 2019). "The Tab meets Nadia Whittome, hopeful Labour candidate for Nottingham East". The Tab. Retrieved 23 January 2020.
  10. ^ Smoke, Ben (9 December 2019). "Nadia Whittome: Labour's bright young hope for Britain Knock Knock: An Election Special". Huck. Archived from the original on 11 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  11. ^ a b Locker, Joseph (28 October 2019). "Former Meadows care worker selected as Labour candidate for Nottingham East". Nottingham Post. Archived from the original on 15 November 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  12. ^ Bond, Daniel (16 December 2019). "Class of 2019: Meet the new MPs". Politics Home. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  13. ^ Ismail, Sacha (30 October 2019). "Left win in Nottingham East". Workers' Liberty. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ "National Committee". Another Europe is Possible. 5 February 2019. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  15. ^ "What we fight for". Labour for a Socialist Europe. Archived from the original on 8 April 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Nottingham East". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  17. ^ "Youngest Members of Parliament since 1979". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 17 December 2019. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  18. ^ a b Eaton, George (20 February 2019). "Chris Leslie interview: Labour have 'massively underestimated' a new centrist party". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  19. ^ Canton, Naomi (14 December 2019). "15 Indian-origin MPs in new UK Parliament". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Britain's youngest MP Nadia Whittome on what it's like being 'baby of the House'". ITV News. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  21. ^ "Rolling list: MP/MEP nominations for Labour leadership candidates". LabourList. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  22. ^ @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.
  23. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (13 January 2020). "Lewis pulls out of leadership race to allow recasting of nominations". LabourList. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  24. ^ @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.
  25. ^ "Windrush: 170 MPs call on PM to halt Jamaica deportation flight – BBC News". BBC. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Coronavirus: MP Nadia Whittome 'sacked' as carer after 'speaking out' about PPE". BBC News. 7 May 2020. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Coronavirus: 'Sacked' MP resolves dispute with care home". BBC News. 16 September 2020.
  28. ^ Sylvester, Rachel (9 May 2020). "Nadia Whittome: Britain's youngest MP on her sacking as a frontline carer". The Times.(subscription required)
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ "Nadia Whittome MP on Twitter". Twitter. 7 June 2020. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  31. ^ Sabbagh, Dan; Stewart, Heather (23 September 2020). "Three Labour MPs lose roles after voting against overseas operations bill". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  32. ^ "Olivia Colman condemns 'violence and hostility' against trans women in open letter". The Independent. 25 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  33. ^ Skinner, Tom (17 March 2021). "Thom Yorke, Lily Allen and more react to controversial new policing bill". NME. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Nadia Whittome, Tiktok".
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ "Nadia Whittome, first year law student talks about her interest in politics and experience to date! - MediaSpace - The University of Nottingham". mediaspace.nottingham.ac.uk. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  37. ^ "New MPs Archives". Mace Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2021.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Chris Leslie
Member of Parliament for Nottingham East
2019–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Mhairi Black
Baby of the House
2019–present
Incumbent