Huq in June 2017
|Member of Parliament
for Ealing Central and Acton
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||Angie Bray|
|Born||Rupa Asha Huq
2 April 1972
Hammersmith, London, England
|Relations||Mohammed Huq (father)
Rowshan Ara Huq (mother)
Nutun Huq (sister)
Konnie Huq (sister)
|Residence||Ealing, London, England|
|Alma mater||Newnham College, Cambridge
University of East London
Marc Bloch University
|Occupation||Writer, columnist, politician, senior lecturer, music DJ|
Rupa Asha Huq (Bengali: রাবেয়া "রূপা" আশা হক; born 2 April 1972) is a British Labour Party politician, columnist, academic and DJ. She was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ealing Central and Acton at the 2015 general election. She was formerly a lecturer in sociology at Kingston University and deputy mayoress of the London Borough of Ealing.
Huq was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, London in 1972. She was the second of three daughters born to an actuary turned Indian restaurant owner and housewife turned British Telecom employee and grew up on Brunswick Road, Ealing. Her parents settled in west London in the 1960s from pre-independence Bangladesh. Huq's father died in September 2014 and her mother died two weeks before the 2017 General Election. She attended Montpelier Primary School and Notting Hill & Ealing High School, both in her constituency. In 1980, at the age of eight, Huq was featured in the BBC Schools programme Look and Read filmed at Montpelier School.
Rupa dabbled in student politics whilst at Newnham College, Cambridge University from 1990-1993 reading Political and Social Sciences and then Law where her contemporaries included Victoria Newton who went on to be editor of the Sun on Sunday and BBC presenter Clare Balding. She graduated with a 2:1. In 1999, she completed a PhD in cultural studies thesis on youth culture at the University of East London, comparing young people in East London and the Alsace region of France, which included being a post-graduate at Strasbourg II University in France during which time she also worked at the European Parliament for the Labour Party, shadowing Labour MEP Carole Tongue.
Huq lectured at the Victoria University of Manchester from 1998 to 2004 and at Kingston University from 2004 to 2015 in Sociology and Criminology. Huq is the author of four books. Her doctoral research specialism of popular music and youth informed her first book Beyond Subculture: youth, pop and identity in a post-colonial world, shortlisted for the British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial prize.
She has authored articles on Britpop and contributed to a BBC documentary on David Bowie. Her subsequent monographs examined the sociology of the suburbs. On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia was launched at the House of Commons in a seminar chaired by Tristram Hunt MP in 2013 and was followed by Making Sense of Suburbia through Popular Culture published by Bloomsbury.
From 2010 – 2011 Rupa served as Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Ealing. Huq was also a music DJ under the stage name "Dr Huq" and recorded a jingle for John Peel in Bengali. She first started DJing for a hospital radio station at the age of 17.
In 2005, she stood as the Labour parliamentary candidate in the safe Conservative seat of Chesham and Amersham in Buckinghamshire (Conservative majority of 11,882) at the 2005 general election. She came third, receiving 6,610 votes and lost to the Conservative candidate Cheryl Gillan who had 25,619 votes.
In 2010, Huq was one of three Labour candidates standing for a council seat in Walpole in the constituency of Ealing. In 2010, after the local elections, she became the deputy mayoress of the London Borough of Ealing for the municipal year 2010 – 2011.
In November 2013, Huq was chosen by Labour as their prospective parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central and Acton constituency to challenge Conservative MP Angie Bray at the 2015 general election. In January 2015, she was one of 15 Labour candidates each given financial support of £10,000 by Lord Matthew Oakeshott, the former Liberal Democrat. During the election campaign, Huq was manhandled by the former vice-chairman of the local Conservative branch, Karim Sacoor, who was caught on video repeatedly attempting to drag her away from Boris Johnson, who was campaigning with her Conservative rival Angie Bray.
In May 2015, Huq won the Ealing Central and Acton seat with 22,002 votes, previous incumbent Angie Bray received 21,728 votes, with a turnout of 71.4%. In June of the same year, she was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate in the Labour leadership election, although she later supported Yvette Cooper. Huq was appointed vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Music Group and All-Party Parliamentary on Crossrail. She is Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on London's Planning and Built Environment. Established in October 2015, with her as the first Chair, it was the first cross-party group to focus on London's planning and built environment for some 50 years.  Since her election, Huq has also been a member of the Justice Select Committee.
In April 2016, Huq criticised BBC and ITV productions for demonstrating inferiority to other races, claiming that some areas of television had yet to move forward from the sitcoms of the 1970s. She also, criticised Citizen Khan's "Islamophobic" depiction of a "quite backward" family of Muslims. In the same month, Huq defended suspended Labour MP Naz Shah during an interview on BBC's Today programme by comparing "alleged anti-Semitic" posts about Israel shared by Shah on social media to a photo Huq shared of Boris Johnson on a zip-wire next to Barack Obama. She also stressed the fact that Shah's comments were made before she became an MP and that some online comments should not be taken seriously. Subsequently, Huq was accused of "trivialising racism". Huq later apologised claiming she was not "fully aware" of Shah's comments before defending her.
In October 2016, Huq was appointed as a member of the Shadow Home Affairs team in the Labour Party's frontbench in Parliament. She is Shadow Home Office Minister for Crime Prevention. As Shadow Home Affairs Minister Rupa led Labour from the frontbench on the bill before the Commons to equalise Civil Partnerships to include heterosexual couples. Two of her constituents were affected, which she cited in her speech.
In April 2017, the Green Party decided not to run a candidate to contest her seat in the general election. They said "By and large we quite like Rupa. She has made quite prominent statements on proportional representation and Heathrow, as well as climate change and environmental issues in regards to Brexit, so for those reasons we won't tell our members to vote for her, but we will say we're not going to stand against her." Huq said of the Progressive alliance, "I welcome the decision and indeed offers of help from anyone who'll lend a hand in a tight race. The local Green Party knows that I am an MP who is a resolute remainer that I will continue to fight for the UK to stay in the EU and vote accordingly. For me this is respecting the will of the people in Ealing, Acton and Chiswick." Sir Vince Cable, who went on to be Liberal Democrat leader, commented that if he lived in Ealing Central and Acton he would not vote for his own party but would support Huq. In a recording of a public meeting Cable comments how he gave Huq a lift home from a joint speaking engagement "We talked for a couple of hours, and it was very clear that on almost every issue our views were almost identical. And so I would find it difficult to vote against somebody like that, and I hope that our people around the country are discriminating and think and act in a constructive way." In June 2017, in the general election, Huq retained her seat with an increased majority of 13,807. This represented a 16% increase in the Labour vote from 2015 and a 60% share of the total votes.
Huq is married and has a son, Rafi (born 2004). Her elder sister, Nutun, is an architect. Her younger sister is former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq and her brother-in-law is satirist Charlie Brooker. Both her sisters live in her constituency.
|2006||Beyond Subculture: Pop, Youth and Identity in a Postcolonial World||Bloomsbury Academic||ISBN 978-0415278157|
|2013||Making Sense of Suburbia Through Popular Culture||Routledge||ISBN 978-1780932248|
|On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia||Lawrence and Wishart||ISBN 978-1907103728|
- British Bangladeshi
- List of British Bangladeshis
- List of English writers
- List of Muslim writers and poets
- List of ethnic minority politicians in the United Kingdom
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Ealing Central and Acton