Rupa Huq

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Rupa Huq
Rupa Huq 2015.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Ealing Central and Acton
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Angie Bray
Majority 274 (0.5%)
Personal details
Born Rupa Asha Huq
(1972-04-02) 2 April 1972 (age 44)
London, England, UK
Political party Labour
Children 1
Alma mater Newnham College, Cambridge
University of East London
Marc Bloch University
Religion Islam
Website Official website

Rupa Asha Huq (Bengali: রাবেয়া "রূপা" আশা হক; born 2 April 1972) is a British Labour Party politician, writer, and columnist. She was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ealing Central and Acton at the 2015 general election. She was formerly a lecturer in sociology with a special interest in suburban culture and deputy mayor of the London Borough of Ealing.

Early life[edit]

Huq's father, Muhammad Huq,[1][2] and mother, Roshan Ara Huq, emigrated to Britain in the 1960s to enable their children to have better opportunities and a higher level of education than was available in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).[3] Huq's father (also known as Fazlul) came from Maksedpur in Pabna city, while her mother (also known as Dulali Biswas) is from Kuthipara.[4] Huq's father was training to become an actuary for The Prudential, however, he gave it up to start an Indian restaurant in Soho, London. After the recession of the early 1990s, the council did not renew the restaurant's lease, so the business folded. He started another restaurant in Harrow but later retired.[5]

Huq was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, London. She attended Montpelier Primary School in Ealing. In 1980, at the age of eight, Huq was featured in the BBC Schools programme Look and Read when the programme visited the school.[6]

She attended Notting Hill & Ealing High School. In 1990 she went to Newnham College, Cambridge.[7] In 1993, she graduated there. with a 2:1 in BA Political and Social Sciences and Law In 1999, she completed a PhD in cultural studies thesis on youth culture at the University of East London,[8] comparing young people in East London and the Alsace region of France,[9] 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,[10] shadowing Labour MEP Carole Tongue.[11]

Teaching career[edit]

In 1998, Huq moved to Manchester.[11] From 1998 to 2004, she was a lecturer at the University of Manchester,[8] during time which she held a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship.[8][12]

From September 2004 until 2015,[13] Huq was a senior lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at Kingston University[9] in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.[12] She has also taught Media and Cultural Studies.[14]

Writing and media career[edit]

Huq has contributed to Tribune, The Guardian, New Statesman, Progress magazine[15] and The Times Higher Education Supplement.[6] Huq's research specialism has chiefly been youth culture and pop music.[9] She has a particular interest in David Bowie.[16]

In 2006, her book Beyond Subculture: youth, pop and identity in a post-colonial world[17] on these themes was published. It was subsequently one of five titles shortlisted for the 2007 British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial prize.[10][12] In May 2012, her second book Making Sense of Suburbia through Popular Culture was published.[18][19] Huq was a contributor to the 2011 book What Next for Labour? Ideas for a new generation, published by Queensferry Publishing. In 2013, her books On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia After 7/7 and Making Sense of Suburbia Through Popular Culture were published.

Huq has appeared on Channel S and Bangla TV as well as Channel 4 News and BBC News 24.[6] On radio, she has been on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Asian Network.[6]

Huq is also a music DJ under the stage name "Dr Huq" and recorded a jingle for John Peel in Bengali. She first started DJ-ing for a hospital radio station at the age of 17.[11][20]

Political career[edit]

Huq in 2006

Huq was a researcher for Tony Banks and Patricia Hewitt. In 2004, she stood as a candidate for Labour in the European Parliament election in North West England.[10][21]

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.[22] She came third, receiving 6,610 votes[21] and lost to the Conservative candidate Cheryl Gillan who had 25,619 votes.[14]

In 2008, she served on a UK government Foreign and Commonwealth "Understanding Islam" delegation to Bangladesh.[13]

In 2010, Huq was one of three Labour candidates standing for a council seat in Walpole in the constituency of Ealing.[21] In 2010, after the local elections, she became the Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Ealing for the municipal year 2010[23] – 2011.[24]

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.[14][25][26] 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.[27] 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.[28][29][30][31][32]

In May 2015, Huq won the Ealing Central and Acton seat with 22,002 votes. Previous incumbent Angie Bray received 21,728 votes, and the turnout was 71.4%.[33][34][35] 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,[36] although she later supported Yvette Cooper.[37][38] Huq was appointed vice chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Music Group and All-Party Parliamentary on Crossrail. She is also charing an All-Party Parliamentary Group on London, with specific reference to planning and the built environment.[13] Since her election, Huq has also been a member of the Justice Select Committee until she was promoted to the Front Bench of the Labour Party.

In October 2016 Rupa Huq was promoted to the Labour Party's front bench in parliament as a member of the Shadow Home Affairs team. She is Shadow Home Office Minister for Crime Prevention.[39] She is a supporter of extending Civil Partnerships to heterosexual couples.[40]

In April 2016, Huq defended suspended Labour MP Naz Shah during an interview on BBC's Today programme by comparing allegedly 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.[41][42] Huq later apologised claiming she was not "fully aware" of Shah's comments before defending her.[43]

Personal life[edit]

Huq has a son, Rafi (born 2004).[44][45] Her elder sister, Nutun, is an architect.[46] Her younger sister is former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq.[47][48] In 2008, her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and died on 5 September 2014.[49] Huq speaks Bengali, French and Hindi.[50]


Year Title Publisher ISBN
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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Konnie Huq: my family wanted me to marry a Muslim". The Daily Telegraph. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Xtra Factor host Konnie Huq says her father wanted her to marry a Muslim". Mail Online. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Lewis, Roz (26 June 2011). "Konnie Huq talks about money". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  4. ^ Asad, Saikat Afroz (10 May 2015). "Rupa Huq's relatives at Pabna overjoyed at her win in UK polls". Bangladesh: Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Iziren, Adeline (29 May 2010). "Konnie Huq: My family values". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d Gates, James (3 June 2010). "Blue Peter star's sister is new deputy mayor". London: Get West London. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Three Newnhamites elected as MPs in 2015 general election, Newnham College". University of Cambridge. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c "Dr Rupa Huq". Kingston University. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Dr Rupa Huq". Girls & Digital Culture. Retrieved 1 December 2012.  Rupa Huq
  10. ^ a b c "Dr Rupa Huq". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c "Spin doctor Rupa aims to be No 1". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Dr Rupa Huq". Kingston University. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (November 2015). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 14. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c Ahmed, Syed Shah Salim (1 December 2013). "Legendary researcher Rupa will be win the next Election 2015". Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Make Justice Work Ambassador: Rupa Huq". Make Justice Work. 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Ahmed, Samira (13 March 2013). "The Story of 'I Dressed Ziggy Stardust'". The BBC Radio 4 Blog. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia by Rupa Huq". Times Higher Education. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Konnie Huq: My family values". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Making Sense of Suburbia through Popular Culture". Bloomsbury Academic. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Blue Peter links of aspiring MP". BBC News. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  21. ^ a b c Jarvis, Alice-Azania (9 April 2010). "Pandora: 'Blue Peter' Konnie's sister takes red corner". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Roy, Amit (29 April 2009). "Bangla babes rule Britannia". Calcutta: The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Huq, Rupa (28 June 2010). "Why a ceremonial figurehead can mean progress". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  24. ^ Huq, Rupa (13 August 2011). "In Ealing, the sound of the suburbs shedding their leafy reputation". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "Labour pick candidate for Ealing Central and Acton seat". Chiswick: 4 November 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Russell, Michael (7 November 2013). "Ealing Labour pick TV star's sister as their General Election candidate". London: Get West London. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Eaton, George (21 January 2015). "Former Lib Dem Lord Oakeshott donates £300,000 to Labour candidates". New Statesman. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  28. ^ Bazaraa, Danya (5 May 2015). "Conservative activist stands down after 'manhandling' Rupa Huq". London: Get West London. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  29. ^ Bazaraa, Danya (2 May 2015). "Tory who 'manhandled' Labour candidate on walkabout with Boris Johnson told to step down". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  30. ^ Ward, Alexander (3 May 2015). "Tory activist asked to step down after Labour candidate Rupa Huq is 'manhandled' while questioning Boris Johnson on the campaign trail". The Independent. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  31. ^ Bazaraa, Danya (2 May 2015). "Tory who 'manhandled' Labour candidate on walkabout with Boris Johnson told to step down". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Rupa Huq 'manhandled' by a Tory activist". Bangladesh: 10 May 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  33. ^ Bazaraa, Danya; De-Keyzer, Amy (8 May 2015). "Ealing Central & Acton constituency results". London: Get West London. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  34. ^ Farag, Maryse (8 May 2015). "Rupa Huq brings some cheer to party on national night of woe". Ealing: Ealing Times. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "British-Bangladeshi Rupa wins UK election". Dhaka: Dhaka Tribune. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  36. ^ "Who nominated who for the 2015 Labour leadership election?". New Statesman. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  37. ^ Hope, Christopher (22 July 2015). "Half of the Labour MPs who backed Jeremy Corbyn desert to rival candidates". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  38. ^ Vaz, Keith (9 July 2015). "There's only one candidate for me: Yvette Cooper". New Statesman. Retrieved 9 September 2015. 
  39. ^ Huq, Rupa (14 October 2016). "Dr Rupa Huq MP Becomes Shadow Minister". Dr Rupa Huq MP. Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  40. ^ "MP champions campiagn for opposite sex couple Civil Partnerships". 
  41. ^ Rivers, David (29 April 2016). "Ealing MP Rupa Huq under fire for defending MP Naz Shah's anti-semitic Facebook posts about Israel". London: Get West London. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  42. ^ Simons, Ned (28 April 2016). "Naz Shah Subjected To 'Trial By Twitter' Says Labour MP Rupa Huq Amid Antisemitism Row". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  43. ^ "Rupa Huq performs a u-turn over her disastrous Naz Shah interview". The Spectator. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  44. ^ "Chesham & Amersham: Rupa Huq (Labour)". Chesham and Amersham. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  45. ^ Huq, Rupa (13 November 2015). "As an MP and a mother I've found out how sexist Westminster is". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  46. ^ Bedford, Alice (21 December 2007). "Konnie Huq rides out from Blue Peter". Mail Online. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  47. ^ "Rupa lands a left Huq on 'Blair-lite' Cameron". Mail Online. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  48. ^ "Blue Peter Konnie's sister blasts bid to 'spy on Muslim students'". Mail Online. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  49. ^ "Exclusive: Konnie Huq reveals why she became a volunteer". Daily Mirror. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  50. ^ Eaton, George (7 May 2015). "The war at home: the battle for Ealing Central & Acton". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Angie Bray
Member of Parliament
for Ealing Central and Acton