Rupa attended a spectacular day of Grecian splendour and wonder at Avenue House School. Pupils were encouraged to don Grecian style attire or emulate a Greek God/Goddess for the occasion, with both the MP and pupils enjoying a taste of Greek culture at the school.
A Greek Teacher, courtesy of the Greek Embassy of London, introduced children to a new and yet ancient language. A live ‘Skype’ interaction with a primary school in Vergina in Greece from which Alexander the Great originated, initiated a link with a European country and a future relationship beckons which pupils are certain to benefit from.
Mediterranean cuisine tempted taste buds with a lunchtime banquet worthy of Olympus and the opportunity to sample olives, feta and tzatziki, providing necessary fuel for the events of the day. Scenes inspired by Greek theatre entertained, a mini-Olympics revealed Herculean prowess and Greek art and dance workshops captured the imagination of everyone in attendance.
Rupa addressed the children, alluding to the origins of the word ‘democracy’ and the form of government first introduced in the 5th Century BC Athens. The importance and value of retaining close links with European nations was emphasised as the MP fielded questions from children eager to learn more. It’s not every day a Member of Parliament is quizzed by a miniature Hermes and a small, yet mighty Zeus!
Speaking about the event, Rupa expressed she was “delighted to be part of Avenue House Greek Day assembly in conjunction with Greece in UK. The highlight of the day for me was a Skype chat with a primary school in the hometown of Alexander the Great”.
A rich cultural exchange and unforgettable experience featured on the timetable at Avenue House School.
The next open day will be held on Saturday, 17th March 2018 from 11.00am-1.00pm
Rupa attended a spectacular day of Grecian splendour and wonder at Avenue House School. Pupils were encouraged to don Grecian style attire or emulate a Greek God/Goddess for the occasion,...Go to the post
(Rupa Huq MP, Tony Peiris, Barclays Relationship Director, E2S MD Brett Isard)
An innovative alarms company, E2S Warning Signals has marked 25 years of manufacturing in Acton. In 1992 Peter Fay was working for an International alarms company and spotted a niche in the market and realised that customers were asking for products which were not then currently manufactured.
25 years on E2S is now the world's leading independent signalling manufacturer producing a range of life saving signalling equipment. The company, which is still based in the same site in Acton, West London, now employs 80 people and is one of the last independent companies of its type, the majority having been absorbed by much larger concerns. E2S now owns the manufacturing site.
The company specialises in the design, development and manufacture of audible and visual signals for commercial, industrial, marine and hazardous locations and distributes products to over 100 countries around the world. Currently 85% of its turnover is export. The company also has a distribution hub and sales operation in Houston, Texas which primarily supports North and South American customers.
In addition to safeguarding oil rigs and pipelines around the world E2S has managed projects as diverse as a Tsunami warning system in Chile, which has already been responsible for saving lives, and alert systems for lifeboat crews for the RNLI.
Peter Fay said: “I’m delighted with the way the business has grown over the years and also that we have been able to maintain all of our design, development and manufacture in West London. We have an excellent workforce here and great access to our markets around the world. I still have ambitious plans for the company and believe that with the support of our bankers, Barclays, we can continue to grow and prosper.”
Rupa Huq MP visited the business to congratulate them on their success over 25 years in business and to receive a tour of the site with E2S Managing Director Brett Isard. Rupa said: “The company has banked with Barclays since 1994 when their existing bank, without warning, asked them to find an alternative source of finance. Peter Fay met with a Barclays relationship director who saw the potential in the business and agreed to provide the finance, even increasing the overdraft facility to enable the business to gain discounts for bulk purchases”
Tony Peiris, Barclays Relationship Director said: “It’s relatively rare to find a world class manufacturer like E2S Warning Signals maintaining their entire operation in the UK and the company should be congratulated for being a torch bearer for UK technology and innovation. I look forward to seeing their continued success and working with them long into the future.”
(Rupa Huq MP, Tony Peiris, Barclays Relationship Director, E2S MD Brett Isard) An innovative alarms company, E2S Warning Signals has marked 25 years of manufacturing in Acton. In 1992 Peter...Go to the post
Rupa Huq MP attended a hard-hitting lesson on the risks associated with underage drinking at Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, organised by Collingwood Learning. ‘Smashed’ is an international programme reaching 18,000 students pupils across the UK this year.
Ms Huq joined pupils watching a play delivered to a group of 240 students from year 8 about a group of friends who find themselves in trouble as a result of their misuse of alcohol. The performance was followed by an interactive workshop where pupils were invited to probe the cast on any of the issues brought up during the play and explore the consequences portrayed by the actors.
‘Smashed’ is an alcohol education and awareness programme sponsored by Diageo and delivered by Collingwood Learning. This year sees the tour appear in 90 UK schools in 6 different regions. To date, the programme has reached over 333,000 pupils in 1,400 schools across the UK since it began in 2005.
‘Smashed’ was developed in consultation with young people and has been designed to engage with pupils in a different way to typical school lessons. It combines the use of drama with an interactive workshop to help young people understand the facts, causes, and consequences surrounding alcohol misuse and the risks of underage drinking.
“Teaching young people about the risks of underage drinking through theatre performances and interactive workshops is an original and undoubtedly successful approach to education. I’d like to thank the pupils and teachers at the Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, as well as the Smashed team, for welcoming me at this session.”
The performance has a tangible impact on students, with the percentage of students who felt they knew a lot about the dangers of alcohol misuse increasing by 44% after watching. Additionally,
students who know the legal age for buying alcohol increased from 80% to 98%, while students who understand the term peer pressure increased by 20%.
England is making progress to reduce levels of underage drinking. The number of boys and girls aged 8 to 15 that reported drinking alcohol has fallen significantly, sitting at 15% compared to 45% in 2003. However, there is still work to be done. With 37.3% of 16-24 year olds binge drinking on their heaviest day of drinking, ‘Smashed’ is targeting 12 to 16 year olds to help them make informed decisions in the future as they reach this vulnerable age group.
 Smashed Project, Evaluation Report, National Schools Tour 2017
 ONS - Adult drinking habits in Great Britain: 2005 to 2016: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/bulletins/opinionsandlifestylesurveyadultdrinkinghabitsingreatbritain/2005to2016
Rupa attends dramatic lesson on the risks associated with drinking at the Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls
Rupa Huq MP attended a hard-hitting lesson on the risks associated with underage drinking at Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls, organised by Collingwood Learning. ‘Smashed’ is an international programme reaching...Go to the post
Rupa supports launch of new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer report which finds concerning geographical variation in NHS services
Rupa has called for an end to the stark inequalities in breast cancer diagnosis and care across England, following the launch of a new report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer (APPGBC) – and supported by leading charity Breast Cancer Now.
The landmark report – launched in Parliament on Tuesday 27th February – uncovers the true extent of the ‘postcode lottery’ in breast cancer diagnosis and care across England, with women in worst-affected areas found to be more than twice as likely to die from breast cancer under the age of 75 than those elsewhere in the country.
Following a year-long inquiry (October 2016 - November 2017), which gathered evidence from NHS leaders, clinicians, patients and charities, the report found that while overall outcomes for breast cancer are improving, stark geographical inequalities exist across England in screening, early detection and access to treatment and services.
With the publication of their new report, ‘A Mixed Picture: An Inquiry into Geographical Inequalities and Breast Cancer’, Rupa said:
“As a breast cancer ambassador I was very pleased to attend the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer’s report into geographical inequalities in breast cancer. These widespread differences in the diagnosis, treatment and care of women with breast cancer, based on where they live, are shocking. It was incredibly moving to hear from speakers at the event just how difficult it can be for breast cancer patients to get the support they need.
It’s so important to attend routine mammograms so that we can detect breast cancer as early as possible to give women the best chance of survival.
While such variation across the region exists, we’re falling short of the Government’s ambition of world-class outcomes for all cancer patients, and we call on NHS England and Public Health England to do all that it can to meet this challenge.”
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, which supported the inquiry, said:
“These are really concerning findings. While overall, more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before, this crucial report uncovers variation in breast cancer services on a major scale.
With patients and healthcare professionals alike already feeling the impact of the workforce shortages across the country, this alarming report must now act as a wake-up call. All women with breast cancer deserve the best possible chance of surviving and living well, no matter where they live, their age or the colour of their skin.
“This report shows too many women miss out on the best breast cancer care this country has to offer. We urge NHS England and Public Health England to take immediate action to ensure all women in the Ealing and across the country receive fair access to the care, treatment and support they need.”
Rupa supports launch of new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer report which finds concerning geographical variation in NHS services Rupa has called for an end to the stark inequalities...Go to the post
On Wednesday, Dr Rupa Huq led a Parliamentary debate on the Anti-Corruption Strategy and its relationship with the illegal wildlife trade. The government strategy, launched in January 2018, aims to reduce corruption both in the UK and abroad. However, as the Ealing Central and Acton MP was keen to stress, the strategy includes few specifics on how the government will endeavour to tackle the corruption that fuels the illegal wildlife trade.
In Rupa's words, “the message is that progress is being made, but it does not offer any concrete examples of policy or initiatives.”
The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £15 billion a year, making it the fourth most lucrative illicit trade in the world after drugs, human trafficking, and arms. With 800 kilograms of Rhino horn said to value at almost £6 million on illegal markets, it has been described as a ‘low risk, high profits’ endeavour for criminals who often have links to terrorist groups and militias.
The focus of Rupa's speech was to urge the Government to implement strong action on open registers of beneficial ownership in overseas territories. A move which would help to prevent the profits from illegal animal parts being laundered through shell companies.
Rupa said, “In 2016, the Conservative Government said all countries needed to reach a ‘gold standard’ of public registers of beneficial ownership. David Cameron painted himself as a leader on the issue, promising action. Yet now, the Foreign Office only expects UK tax havens to adopt the public register model when it becomes a ‘global standard’. Although the government finally relented to pressure and appointed a new anti-corruption czar after a gap of six months, their strategy does not do enough to bring forward open registers. While these won’t end the illegal wildlife trade, they will help to combat the industrial nature of it.”
Rupa, who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Anti-Corruption, also called on the government to enact a total ban on the import of lion trophies, an issue which came to public attention in 2015 following the heart-breaking case of Cecil the lion.
The Ealing Central and Acton MP received support from MPs of all colours, including Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP for Richmond Park. Mr Goldsmith joined Dr Huq in urging the government to strengthen its fight against ivory and expand the current Elephant ivory ban to include walruses, rhinos, and narwhals.
Despite support from a number of MPs, Rupa Huq was not satisfied with the response from the government representative. Dr Huq said, “The debate thought the minister’s response was disappointing if not poor. It seems that the October conference is London on the illegal wildlife trade is being used as a smokescreen so nothing is properly answered. None of the questions posed were concretely answered, not even when the results of last week so consultation on the Ivory ban will see the light of day so I will be writing to her to follow up.”
On Wednesday, Dr Rupa Huq led a Parliamentary debate on the Anti-Corruption Strategy and its relationship with the illegal wildlife trade. The government strategy, launched in January 2018, aims to...Go to the post
With the Government’s public consultation on its green paper proposals for children’s mental health support due to close on 2 March, the charity’s event meant MPs were able to discuss the increasingly important role that Childline plays in the mental health landscape.
The event was hosted in the House of Commons on Monday 26 February, where founder of Childline Dame Esther Rantzen revealed the service had delivered 101,454 counselling sessions on mental and emotional health issues in the last year alone.
Dame Esther stressed the urgency for investment in Childline as she told politicians and other key stakeholders how two thirds of Childline counselling takes place outside school hours, and that children often use Childline as a means of early mental health support.
Some children have told counsellors they are being directed to contact Childline after normal working hours by statutory services, such as child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) or local authority children’s services in England.
This shows the need for additional out-of-hours support, and is just one of the factors contributing to the huge demand for support from Childline. Currently counsellors can only respond to 3 out of 4 children who need their help.
Rupa heard from several young people who had benefitted from Childline after suffering from mental health issues, ranging from depression to anxiety.
Barbara Keeley, Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Social Care also spoke at the event and stressed the importance of a mental health support system that is accessible for all children and young people, as well as adequate funding for voluntary services, like Childline, that can provide early support for children.
The public can get behind the NSPCC’s children’s mental health campaign, Are you there? by signing a petition to encourage Government to increase funding to Childline before 2 March.
The funding will help to recruit more counsellors, deliver training to help manage the increased complexity of counselling sessions, and help provide more online resources for children and young people.
It costs £4 for a counsellor to answer a child’s call for help to Childline.
Rupa showed her support for improving children’s mental health services by attending the NSPCC’s Are You There? Parliamentary Reception
With the Government’s public consultation on its green paper proposals for children’s mental health support due to close on 2 March, the charity’s event meant MPs were able to discuss...Go to the post
Rupa took the opportunity to visit ethically-driven clothing label THTC clothing. The business which is based in Ealing produce eco-friendly and politically conscious street wear is currently ranked the UK's most ethical menswear brand.
(Picture by Radski Photography)
The company, which is now in its 16th year, paired with left-wing political group momentum to produce the iconic CORBYN t-shirt which has been seen on influential music stars such as ‘Stormzy’ and ‘Rag’N’Bone man’.
THTC have worked towards creating an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable business with products made from hemp, carbon-neutral organic cotton, and recycled salvage plastic fibres.
(Picture by Radski Photography)
Whilst visiting THTC Rupa also learnt more about the medicinal use of cannabis oil and was provided with a copy of ‘The Boy in 7 billion’ which highlights the need for research into the health benefits of cannabis.
The visit led to Rupa’s question in the following Tuesday’s Parliamentrary debate on medical cannabis in which Rupa asked Minister Nick Hurd MP… “I wonder whether the Minister knows the book, “The Boy in 7 Billion”, by Callie Blackwell, the mum of Deryn Blackwell who, at the age of 10, was diagnosed with a very rare cancer and then, through the use of cannabis oil, made a miraculous recovery. If he likes, I can lend him my copy. I got one over recess at THTC, a company in my constituency that makes hemp t-shirts—sorry, it does not make them; it supplies them. It is not allowed to make them in this country. It also pointed out that in Mexico, where the medicinal use of cannabis has been legalised, violent crime has dramatically dropped. Does the Minister not think that those things are more than a coincidence, and will he not investigate?”
(Picture by Radski Photography)
Rupa took the opportunity to visit ethically-driven clothing label THTC clothing. The business which is based in Ealing produce eco-friendly and politically conscious street wear is currently ranked the UK's...Go to the post
Rupa Huq MP has joined disability rights campaigners today to call on the Government to make Changing Places toilets compulsory in new buildings to ensure that all people with disabilities can have access to a basic right – the use of a toilet.
Without a Changing Places toilet available, disabled children have to be changed on dirty toilet floors or in the back of cars. Their carers often have no choice but to use manual moving and handling techniques that are considered too dangerous for nurses to use in a hospital setting. Disabled teenagers and adults have little choice but to either sit in soiled continence products or limit their time out of the house to a couple of hours at a time.
The campaign is being led by Lorna Fillingham and Anne Wafula Stike MBE, who have travelled to Downing Street today to present their 51,000 signature strong petition to the Government. The petition demands that Changing Places toilets be included in plans before planning permission is granted and that the facilities be incorporated into any refurbishments or redevelopments of existing buildings.
Rupa said: “In the UK in 2018 it is unacceptable that people are finding themselves in positions where they are having to be changed on dirty toilet floors or in the back of cars. How we design our public buildings is a choice we make, and it cannot be a justifiable choice to prevent someone from accessing the basic right of a toilet. I fully support the Changing Places campaign.”
Fillingham, whose own experience is of caring for her seven-year-old daughter, a wheelchair user with global development delay, led her to start this petition from improved facilities for disabled people.
Discussing the regulations that she is campaigning for the Government to adopt, Fillingham said: “This would mean a year on year guaranteed increase in facilities, it would give dignity and freedom back to the disabled community. It would mean that there would be a future where no-one had to be changed on a toilet floor. These are basic human rights, the most vulnerable people in society are being affected by a wholly preventable situation.”
The campaign is also supported by Paralympic athlete and prominent disability rights campaigner Anne Wafula Strike MBE, who experienced first-hand the impact of a lack of disabled toilet facilities when she was forced to wet herself on a CrossCountry train service.
Discussing this petition, Strike said: “This is a very important campaign and I hope this issue is considered seriously by those in power. Law and policy affects people's lives and it should be about giving value and dignity to every human being, no matter our abilities and differences. It is not right that disabled people and their families are continuously having to validate our existence and debate our humanity again and again over basic rights such as provision and use of an accessible toilet.”
Changing Places facilities come equipped with a hoist, adult changing bench, toilet and plenty of space for carers which are a necessity for people with physical and learning disabilities. Despite being vital to the sanitation and dignity of a quarter of a million people across the UK, there are currently only 1071 of these toilets available, with many towns lacking a single facility. In comparison, Wembley Stadium alone has 2618 toilets.
Rupa Huq MP has joined disability rights campaigners today to call on the Government to make Changing Places toilets compulsory in new buildings to ensure that all people with disabilities can have access to...Go to the post
To mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton attended a celebratory event at Parliament.
The event, sponsored by Co-op, gave parliamentarians from across the political spectrum the chance to show their support for Fairtrade, chat to supporters and campaigners, hear the stories of Fairtrade producers and sample some delicious Fairtrade produce. Parliamentarians also got the chance to pose for photographs with Fairtrade Ambassador Nick Hewer, famous for his roles on Countdown and The Apprentice.
Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 will challenge the British public to open their doors to Fairtrade and help close the door on the exploitation facing farmers and producers in developing nations.
The nationwide campaign ‘Come On In’ runs from Monday 26 February until Sunday 11 March and will invite the public to come in to the world of the people who grow our food to see what life can be like when farmers and workers aren’t paid fairly. The campaign will explore how businesses, farmers, workers and shoppers can come together through Fairtrade to change this.
Thousands of events will be taking place around the country including breakfasts, breaks, bake-offs and more as people ‘Come On In’ and find out more about Fairtrade.
“It is wonderful to be able to show my support for Fairtrade alongside my fellow parliamentarians.
“Fairtrade Fortnight is a hugely important event and I would encourage the people of Ealing Central and Acton to get involved wherever they can.
“We can all play a role in ensuring a fair deal for farmers and producers in developing nations simply by ensuring we buy Fairtrade wherever possible.”
Cheryl McGechie, Director of Public Engagement, The Fairtrade Foundation said:
“This Fairtrade Fortnight, we are inviting people to ‘Come On In’ to find out what Fairtrade does for farmers and see what exploitation looks like when trade doesn’t deliver.
“There has never been a better time to stand alongside the people who produce the things we love to eat, drink and wear. People who often do not earn enough to feed, or provide for their own families.
“This unfairness must end. By buying Fairtrade you are guaranteeing farmers a fair price for their efforts. This Fairtrade Fortnight ‘Come On In’ to Fairtrade.”
To mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight Rupa Huq MP for Ealing Central and Acton attended a celebratory event at Parliament. The event, sponsored by Co-op, gave parliamentarians from across...Go to the post
MPs took a battering as Westminster’s journalists won the 2018 Parliamentary pancake race.
Local MP Rupa Huq made a valiant effort alongside her team of colleagues from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. However, the media team took the prize with the Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn crossing the line first, following 11 laps of the course in Victoria Tower Gardens.
The race between Members and Westminster journalists, which is now in its 21st year was in support of disability charity Rehab, a charity which provides services for over 20,000 adults and children with mental and physical disabilities.
The Ealing Central and Acton MP lamented the first loss for the MP’s for the first time since 2015 and reflected on twitter that it may "Not the most clever idea for me to run it in heels either. Doh!"
MPs took a battering as Westminster’s journalists won the 2018 Parliamentary pancake race. Local MP Rupa Huq made a valiant effort alongside her team of colleagues from the House of...Go to the post