Rupa Huq

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Rupa Huq
Official portrait of Dr Rupa Huq crop 2.jpg
Huq in June 2017
Member of Parliament
for Ealing Central and Acton
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Angie Bray
Majority 13,807 (24.9%)
Personal details
Born Rupa Asha Huq
(1972-04-02) 2 April 1972 (age 45)
Hammersmith, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Relations Mohammed Huq (father)
Rowshan Ara Huq (mother)
Nutun Huq (sister)
Konnie Huq (sister)
Children 1
Residence Ealing, London, England
Alma mater Newnham College, Cambridge
University of East London
Marc Bloch University
Occupation Writer, columnist, politician, senior lecturer, music DJ
Profession Politician

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.

Early life[edit]

Huq was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Hammersmith, London in 1972.[1] 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.[2] Her parents settled in west London in the 1960s from pre-independence Bangladesh. Huq's father died in September 2014[3] and her mother died two weeks before the 2017 General Election[4]. 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.[1]

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,[5] 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,[6] shadowing Labour MEP Carole Tongue.[7]

Pre-election career[edit]

Huq lectured at the Victoria University of Manchester from 1998 to 2004 and at Kingston University from 2004 to 2015 in Sociology and Criminology[8][9]. 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.[10][11]

She has authored articles on Britpop and contributed to a BBC documentary on David Bowie.[12][13] 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.[14][15][16]

From 2010 – 2011 Rupa served as Deputy Mayoress of the London Borough of Ealing.[17] 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.[7][18]

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.[6][19]

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.[20] She came third, receiving 6,610 votes[19] and lost to the Conservative candidate Cheryl Gillan who had 25,619 votes.[21]

In 2008, she served on a UK government Foreign and Commonwealth "Understanding Islam" delegation to Bangladesh.[22]

In 2010, Huq was one of three Labour candidates standing for a council seat in Walpole in the constituency of Ealing.[19] In 2010, after the local elections, she became the deputy mayoress 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.[21][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, with a turnout of 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 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. [39] 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.[40][41][42][43] 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".[44][45] Huq later apologised claiming she was not "fully aware" of Shah's comments before defending her.[46]

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.[47] 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.[48]

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."[49] Huq said of the Progressive alliance,[50] "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."[50] 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."[51][52] 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.[53][54][55]

Personal life[edit]

Huq is married and has a son, Rafi (born 2004).[56][57][58][59] Her elder sister, Nutun, is an architect.[60] 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.[61][62]

Her father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008 and died on 5 September 2014.[63] Her mother died on 21 May 2017 after months of long-term illness.[64]

Huq speaks English, Bengali, French and Hindi.[65]


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. ^ a b Gates, James (3 June 2010). "Blue Peter star's sister is new deputy mayor". London: Get West London. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Rupa Huq will be hoping to hold the seat for Labour". Ealing: Ealing Today. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Rupa Huq - the visionary lady". Retrieved 2017-09-10. 
  4. ^ editor, Neighbournet. "Death of Rowshan Huq". Retrieved 2017-09-10. 
  5. ^ "Dr Rupa Huq". Girls & Digital Culture. Retrieved 1 December 2012.  Rupa Huq
  6. ^ a b "Dr Rupa Huq". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Spin doctor Rupa aims to be No 1". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  8. ^ News, Manchester Evening (2004-08-10). "Spin doctor Rupa aims to be No 1". men. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  9. ^ "Speakers | Girls and Digital Culture". Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  10. ^ "On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia by Rupa Huq". Times Higher Education (THE). 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  11. ^ "Dr Rupa Huq | HuffPost". Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  12. ^ Huq, Rupa (2015-01-01). "Smells Like Focus Group Spirit? The Changing Nature of Pop Fandom and its Deployment as a Political Tool". Popular Music and Society. 38 (1): 95–99. ISSN 0300-7766. doi:10.1080/03007766.2014.975031. 
  13. ^ "The Story of 'I Dressed Ziggy Stardust'". The Radio 4 Blog. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  14. ^ "On the Edge". Lawrence & Wishart. 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  15. ^ "Ealing's Local Web site". Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  16. ^ "Making Sense of Suburbia through Popular Culture". Bloomsbury Publishing. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  17. ^ Huq, Rupa (2010-06-28). "Why a ceremonial figurehead can mean progress | Rupa Huq". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-09-11. 
  18. ^ "Blue Peter links of aspiring MP". BBC News. 3 November 2006. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c Jarvis, Alice-Azania (9 April 2010). "Pandora: 'Blue Peter' Konnie's sister takes red corner". The Independent. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  20. ^ Roy, Amit (29 April 2009). "Bangla babes rule Britannia". Calcutta: The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  21. ^ a b Ahmed, Syed Shah Salim (1 December 2013). "Legendary researcher Rupa will be win the next Election 2015". Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Karim, Mohammed Abdul; Karim, Shahadoth (November 2015). British Bangladeshi Who's Who (PDF). British Bangla Media Group. p. 14. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  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. ^ Edgar, L., "London Society inaugurates APPG for London’s Planning and Built Environment", The Planner, 23 October 2015 [1]
  40. ^ "BBC sitcom Citizen Khan 'Islamophobic', says MP". BBC News. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  41. ^ "Citizen Khan: BBC sitcom is 'Islamophobic', says MP". The Week. 15 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  42. ^ Cartledge, James (15 April 2016). "MP blasts 'Islamophobic' Citizen Khan - and predicts hand being CUT OFF in future episodes". Birmingham: Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  43. ^ "'Beardy, weirdy' Citizen Khan branded Islamophobic by MP Rupa Huq". Birmingham: Express & Star. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  44. ^ 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. 
  45. ^ 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. 
  46. ^ "Rupa Huq performs a u-turn over her disastrous Naz Shah interview". The Spectator. 28 April 2016. 
  47. ^ Rivers, David (21 October 2016). "Labour front bench sees appointment of west London MPs including Andy Slaughter and Rupa Huq". London: Get West London. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  48. ^ Williams, Paul (22 January 2017). "MP champions campaign for opposite sex couple Civil Partnerships". Chiswick: Chiswick Herald. 
  49. ^ Bulman, May (28 April 2017). "Green Party pulls out of crucial general election seat to help Labour beat Tories". The Independent. Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  50. ^ a b "Rupa Huq responds to decision of Green candidate to stand aside in Ealing Central and Acton race". Ealing: Ealing Today. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2017. 
  51. ^ "rupa huq". Retrieved 2017-09-02. 
  52. ^ "Listen: Vince Cable says he would find it difficult not to vote for Labour MP | Coffee House". Coffee House. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-09-02. 
  53. ^ "Ealing Central & Acton Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  54. ^ De Peyer, Robin (9 June 2017). "Ealing Central and Acton election results: Labour's Rupa Huq wins at General Election". London: London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  55. ^ Rivers, David (9 June 2017). "General Election: All Labour candidates in Ealing hold seats and boost majorities". London: Get West London. Retrieved 9 June 2017. 
  56. ^ "Victorious Rupa Huq says Theresa May 'got her comeuppance'". 
  57. ^ "Konnie Huq's MP sister says Corbyn 'not a young man' and could go soon". 
  58. ^ "Chesham & Amersham: Rupa Huq (Labour)". Chesham and Amersham. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  59. ^ 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. 
  60. ^ Bedford, Alice (21 December 2007). "Konnie Huq rides out from Blue Peter". Mail Online. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  61. ^ "Rupa lands a left Huq on 'Blair-lite' Cameron". Mail Online. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  62. ^ "Blue Peter Konnie's sister blasts bid to 'spy on Muslim students'". Mail Online. 21 November 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  63. ^ "Exclusive: Konnie Huq reveals why she became a volunteer". Daily Mirror. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  64. ^ "Death of Rowshan Huq". Acton: Acton W3. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  65. ^ 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
Succeeded by