Rupa Huq Gives Maiden Speech

Pays tribute to diverse community and 'broom army' of 2011 riots

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Rupa Huq Ealing Central and Acton Labour MP giving maiden speech in parliament (11 June 2015)

Rupa Huq Ealing Central and Acton Labour MP giving maiden speech in parliament (11 June 2015)


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Ealing's new MP has given her maiden speech in parliament saying she is 'honoured and humbled to serve in the 'magnificent seat of Ealing Central and Acton' - the best constituency in the world.

Ms Huq said it was hard to give a pen portrait of the area in just 10 minutes but said many may have seen the area on television but never been aware. South Acton estate was featured in the opening titles of 'Only Fools and Horses', and in Ealing in Doctor Who, including the classic 1970 episode, 'Spearhead from Space', which depicted zombies taking over tranquil Ealing green.

She spoke of the violence which hit London and the borough four years ago:

'' Although we witnessed riots in 2011, the spontaneous broom army that came together in the aftermath of the disturbances demonstrated the resilience of what is a mixed community. It is a seat with lush suburbia of Victorian, Edwardian and 1930s-style varieties at one end and the more post-war urban densities and high-rise properties at the other.''

Ms Huq said during her campaigning she had seen things which she had never before witnessed in her 43 years in Ealing:

''Some of my visits were to places such as the Ealing food bank, the Ealing soup kitchen, the Ealing churches’ night shelter and the Ealing Samaritans—all of whom report an unprecedented take-up of their services. In this day and age in Ealing, which was once known as “Queen of the Suburbs”, that cannot be right.''

The Labour politician paid tribute to her predecessor, Conservative Angie Bray, who she ousted in May with 274 votes but highlighted the local hospital issue:

''I note that my predecessor’s maiden speech pledged to campaign for keeping local A&Es open. She will have been disappointed that we lost Central Middlesex and Hammersmith in September. Maternity at Ealing hospital—we are talking about the London borough with the third highest birth rate out of 33—is about to go at the end of this month, with the last projected birth on 24 June. That can be only a precursor to the A&E going, and Charing Cross A&E is also under threat. With west London’s population going up, not down, that is just plain wrong.''

Ms Huq said she had never imagined years ago that she would be joining her Labour colleagues as an MP and while the victory in Ealing was against the tide she was tempered with sadness that her dad had not lived to see it.

View the speech in full here


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17th June 2015