I wanted to update you on some of the things I've been up to as I end the first year as your MP both in Parliament and locally, and to wish you a happy Christmas.
Speaking up on the issues that matter: from housing to Heathrow to Air Pollution
From my maiden speech (video here) which described Bedford Park, the Brentham estate and 2011 riots in Ealing, I have spoken on over 40 different topics in Parliament- the full list is here. Housing and how those on average incomes and young people are being priced out of Ealing and Acton is a priority for me. I led a debate on this in July which Jeremy Corbyn and several other MPs spoke at. It had widespread coverage including in the Evening Standard – see the clipping below. I spoke out on the subject again last week, which the Ealing Gazette reported. One of my early victories was on air pollution in Horn Lane Acton, which we have secured extra cleaning equipment for after I challenged the environment minister.
Holding the Government to account in the Commons and media
I appeared on BBC's Daily Politics recently, discussing the highly emotive subject of airstrikes on Syria which I received over 1000 emails about. Climate change also came up on the programme, which can be viewed here. My question to David Cameron in October saw him praise me – rare for a Labour MP. Channel 4 News called it an "ambush of the PM". View a clip of it by clicking here.
Defending our NHS
I have spoken out on closures in our health service both in the House of Commons and on the frontline locally. Since I became an MP in May, we have lost maternity at Ealing hospital to compound the closed A and Es at Hammersmith and Central Middlesex. I will be vigorously fighting the end of paediatrics at Ealing, as a mum myself and because we are such a family borough. The recent Mansfield Independent Healthcare Commission report confirmed how “deeply flawed” these decisions are.
Opening up Parliament to people from Ealing, Acton and Chiswick
I held a meeting in December for representatives from residents' associations to discuss local issues and network with each other in the House of Commons. Lord Clive Soley (Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush MP 1997-2005) addressed us. Let me know if you are from a resident's association or similar community group as I want to work closely with you as MP. Also please let me know if you'd like a tour of the Commons or to come in and watch a debate and I can arrange this. I also serve on the Justice select committee, and we have recently had Michael Gove’s court fees proposal overturned through our damning report. The hearings are all public and a constituent came to see our work on that day. Feel free to contact me if you’d also like to see this or any other committee in action.
Tackling casework, speaking up for constituents
I've raised the cases of many constituents before ministers on the floor of the House of Commons, for instance in the scandal of 1950s born women and their dwindling pension entitlement, and on Junior Doctor contracts. I also run a weekly advice surgery every Friday. It won't occur on Christmas Day or New Year's Day but please email me or ring the number below if you'd like to attend a future one.
Making links with all our communities across Ealing, Acton and Chiswick
I attend numerous community events - the Ealing Synagogue community lunch and the Ealing Charity Christmas shop at Christchurch have been particular favourites. Last week alone I was at the Armenian Centre in Acton's Christmas party, and had the honour of being the first woman to appear onstage with the Barbershop Choir, who meet at Kingsdown methodist church W13 at the West Ealing Christmas fair singing carols. I'm keen to develop relations with businesses of all sizes- I ran into Santa at Nat West Ealing Broadway in the week.
Finally I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all constituents a peaceful and joyous Christmas and prosperous new year.
Rupa Huq MP
Ealing Central & Acton
House of Commons
Tel. 020 7219 6865