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Ealing Central and Acton Labour candidate Dr Rupa Huq on why she wants to be re-elected as MP

On 4 July 2024, the UK electorate goes to the polls to vote for who they want as their Member of Parliament. 

EALING.NEWS has asked all candidates standing in the three Ealing constituencies of Ealing Central and Acton, Ealing North and Ealing Southall 7 questions about who they are, what they hope to deliver and why they want residents to vote for them.

Dr Rupa Huq standing for Labour in Ealing Central and Acton answers the 7 questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your priorities for the constituency and why you want to be the next member of Parliament for Ealing North?
I have been the MP for Ealing Central and Acton (ECA) since 2015 and a lifelong Ealing resident (of over 50 years!). I’m incredibly lucky and blessed that for the last three elections, the people of ECA have voted for me. It’s been the greatest honour and privilege of my life. Before becoming a politician, I was an academic, teacher and sociologist.

If re-elected, I will keep on fighting for the residents of ECA to continue being their strong voice in parliament. I have been working hard to improve the lives of everyone who lives in constituency since 2015.

What motivates you?
Being able to make a difference and being able to help people is biggest thing which drives me, every day. Despite 14 years of Tory austerity, I have been fighting hard against the decline of our public services to make sure our future, and our childrens’ futures, will be the best that they can be.

What is your own personal connection to either Ealing North or any other part of the borough?
ECA is my home. It’s where I grew up, went to school and am now raising my family. Walking and cycling through the streets every day, I constantly bump into people I know, who I’ve been able to help as an MP. I’m a part of the community and an active champion for the area.

What do you consider to be your 5 top political or personal achievements and what impact have they had?
When I was elected in 2015, I turned what was previously an impregnable Tory seat into a constituency willing to give Labour their vote. And since then, I’ve been returned by the electorate two more times.

I’m proud of my record as an active and engaged constituency MP. I’ve completed over 74,000 pieces of casework for my residents since 2015 and have spoken 536 times in the last parliament alone.

The abortion clinic in Mattock Lane was plagued by protesters trying to stop women from making it inside the building. The council created buffer zones which I have cast into legislation. It’s been a long and emotionally fraught issue in the area but one that I’ve consistently pushed to ensure safety for women who need to access this vital service.

Following the decline of high street bank branches in Ealing, I spearheaded the campaign to open the first ever urban banking hub in The Oaks shopping centre on Acton High St bringing this important bricks and mortar presence to the area for those who need to visit an actual physical bank.

After weeks of tireless campaigning on the potential benefits of Vitamin D in the fight against Covid-19, I secured a major victory in getting the government to reassess the evidence and increase the public messaging around Vitamin D, helping to save lives and help boost the health of a countless number of people.

What do you consider to be the top 5 challenges Ealing North faces and how will you as the MP address them?
In my weekly surgeries, the number one issue that I am contacted about is the lack of decent affordable social housing, particularly for families with children. I will push for a massive house building programme across the country including supporting the Labour manifesto pledge for new towns.

I am contacted daily about the NHS and how increased waiting lists are causing concern and misery for my residents from across the community. I will campaign for greater funding and reform of the NHS so it is modernised and fit for purpose, including promoting healthy lifestyle programmes for disease prevention.

The chronic underfunding of local government means vital services such as social care and children’s services are stretched dangerously thin. I support the drive to look at local government funding models and devolution so that local areas receive vital investment and can build their own local economies to support their populations.

I have been a consistently strong voice against Brexit and we can see its increasingly damaging effects as time goes on. I will push for a better working relationship with our European neighbours and rebuild the ties damaged by the Tories’ irresponsible and failed Brexit programme.

What do you love about the borough of Ealing?
Ealing is a wonderful place to live with a unique sense of community. We have amazing award-wining parks and green spaces, including Acton Park and Gunnersbury Park and with the new ECA ward boundaries, I’m very excited to have the untamed wilderness of Wormwood Scrubs in the constituency. I’m proud to say that we have some of the best schools in the country and with the resurgence of cinemas in the area with Odeon Luxe, Ealing Project, ActOne Cinema, most recently Filmworks, Ealing has become a destination for movie buffs.

How accessible will you be to Ealing North residents and how can they get in contact with you now and if elected how will you ensure you are accessible to them in the future?
I have a strong track record of being accessible, available, and responsive to all of my constituents. I will continue to hold a weekly surgery which any resident is welcome to attend (by appointment) – my team and I have met and helped thousands of local residents since 2015. I am very present in the community, visiting schools, faith groups and events. I am also an active campaigning MP and will continue to knock on doors in the constituency regularly throughout the parliamentary term, not just at elections. Whether it’s by phone, email or in-person, I will continue to be accessible to every constituent.

Click here for all Ealing Central and Acton candidates standing.

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