Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton

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A 300 strong crowd drawn from local churches, schools and community group plus a smattering of councillors and council candidates including Fay Block (Labour, Northfield) and David Rodgers (Labour, Cleveland) attended an “Ealing Citizens Hosing Accountability Assembly” on Weds 18th April held at Twyford CE school in Acton to make demands of Cllr Julian Bell, Labour leader of Ealing Council, Cllr Greg Stafford, leader of the Conservative Group on Ealing Council and Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton in their work as local representatives relating to the high cost of housing.

Some of the most heartfelt requests came from school pupils including from Christ the Saviour and St Barnabas who displayed placards that they had devised collaboratively. Testimony was also was heard from people who had experienced substandard private accommodation including rodent infestation as well as insecure tenancies undertaking years upon years in “temporary housing”.

The meeting climaxed with a set of demands made of Bell, Stafford and Huq including introducing a charter of renter’s rights, insisting on greater percentages of affordable housing in new developments and committing to community owned land projects in the Crossrail corridor. Bell answered that Ealing Council were already some way to fulfilling all and would work towards reaching all these targets. Stafford committed to all of the pledges if the election resulted in him being leader of the council – even though London wide polling suggests that the Conservatives are set to lose rather than gain councils in the capital.

Rupa Huq promised to work in Parliament to extend the landlord licencing put in place by Ealing Council but stated that Conservative central government had rejected the idea of a wide-scale national rollout as “red tape” for private landlords, particularly given that a large number of Tory MPs derive income from this themselves.

Things took a personal turn when Cllr Stafford accused Cllr Bell of “swanning off to Cannes” to attend a property summit on behalf of Ealing and quaffing champagne. Bell answered that he’d cycled there for charity and was a non-drinker. Things ended with a summary from each candidate. Stafford promised that the Tories would heighten the frequency of street-cleaning while Bell pointed to Conservative cuts to Ealing’s central government budget and assured Ealing’s EU citizens that their rights would be protected at all costs.

Voters go the polls on Thursday May 3rd.   

Bell, Stafford and Huq face 300-Strong Housing Assembly highlighting unaffordability in Ealing

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Rupa Huq dressed in purple for an event at the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Epilepsy to celebrate Purple Day, the international day of epilepsy awareness.

The group aims to raise awareness epilepsy among MPs and to engage with individuals and organisations in supporting the promotion of the needs of the epilepsy community.

The event was attended by many MPs from all parties, including the Chair of the APPG Paula Sherriff MP. They were joined by epilepsy charities Epilepsy Action, who are also the new secretariat of the APPG, The Epilepsy Society, Young Epilepsy and SUDEP Action. Attending MPs were given the opportunity to learn more about the condition and meet representatives from the charities.

Purple Day is held annually on 26 March and was created in 2008 by nine year old Cassidy Megan from Canada. People are encouraged to dress in purple on the day. MPs attending the APPG were given the chance to get into the Purple Day spirit by wearing purple for a photo at the end of the event.

Rupa commented: “It was fantastic to celebrate Purple Day with the APPG. I was very pleased to learn more about epilepsy and how the condition affects people.

It was eye-opening to hear of the issues that some people with epilepsy face. From stigma and a lack of understanding about the condition to the problems people face with driving, employment and education.

It is important that we continue to raise awareness about epilepsy and tackle the problems that people with the condition face.”

Philip Lee, chief executive of Epilepsy Action, said: “We are very pleased that so many MPs have attended the APPG on Epilepsy’s event to learn more about the condition this Purple Day.

It is vitally important that MPs understand the impact that epilepsy has on 600,000 people in the UK and their families.

We look forward to working with the APPG and MPs from all parties to improve the lives of everyone affected by epilepsy and improve access to high-quality, accessible epilepsy healthcare services.”

Rupa attends APPG on Epilepsy event in Parliament on Purple Day

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Dr Rupa Huq , Ealing Central and Acton

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