Rupa Huq Biography

Rupa Asha Huq is a British politician, columnist, and academic. Her full name in Bengali is Rupa Asha Huq (Bengali: “” ), and she was born on April 2, 1972. She was a senior lecturer in the sociology department at Kingston University until being elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of Ealing Central and Acton in the general election of 2015. In September 2022, Huq was placed on administrative leave by the Labour Party pending the outcome of an inquiry over allegations that he made racist remarks during a convention fringe event.

 

Early life 

Huq was raised on Brunswick Road in Ealing after being born in Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in Hammersmith, London, England. Huq was born in England. In 1962, Huq’s parents, Muhammad Huq (also known as Abedul), and Rowshan Ara Huq (also known as Dulali Biswas), relocated to Britain from East Pakistan, which is now known as Bangladesh. East Pakistan was known at the time as Abedul. Her mother was from Kuthipara, and her father was from Maksedpur, both of which are neighborhoods in Pabna city. Before deciding to create an Indian restaurant in Soho, London, Huq’s father was working toward a career as an actuary at The Prudential. However, he left that career path behind. As a result of the council’s decision not to extend the restaurant’s lease during the economic downturn that occurred in the early 1990s, the company went out of business. He opened another restaurant in Harrow and later retired.

 

She had her primary education at the Montpelier School in Ealing. Huq was highlighted in the 1980 edition of the BBC Schools show Look and Read when the program made a visit to the school. Huq was just eight years old at the time. She continued her schooling at the prestigious Notting Hill and Ealing High School, which is a private institution.

 

In 1993, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Newnham College, Cambridge, with a distinction in Political and Social Sciences and Law, earning an upper second. She graduated from the University of East London in 1999 with a doctorate in cultural studies and a thesis on youth culture. Her research focused on the similarities and differences between the youth of East London and the Alsace area of France. This included obtaining a post-graduate degree from Strasbourg II University in France while also working for the Labour Party at the European Parliament as a shadow for Labour MEP Carole Tongue. In October of 2017, Huq stated to Sky News that she had been the victim of sexual harassment at the hands of a male MEP during this time period.

Teaching career 

Huq relocated to Manchester in the year 1998. She was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship while she was working as a lecturer at the University of Manchester between the years 1998 and 2004. Her tenure there lasted from 1998 till 2004.

 

Huq held the position of senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston University from September 2004 to September 2015, teaching courses in sociology and criminology. Additionally, she has a background in teaching Media and Cultural Studies.

 

Writing and media career 

Huq has written articles that have been published in The Guardian, The Tribune, New Statesman, and Progress magazine, as well as The Times Higher Education Supplement. The primary focus of Huq’s research has been on contemporary youth culture and popular music. David Bowie is someone who particularly piques her curiosity.

On the subject of these topics, her book titled “Beyond Subculture: Youth, Pop, and Identity in a Postcolonial World” was published in the year 2006. After that, it was chosen as one of the five books to be considered for the Philip Abrams Memorial Prize given annually by the British Sociological Association. Her second book, titled Making Sense of Suburbia through Popular Culture, was released to the public in May of 2012. Huq was a contributor to the book “What Next for Labour?” which was published in 2011. Queensferry Publishing’s Ideas for a New Generation is an anthology of thought for the next generation. Both of her works, “Making Sense of Suburbia Through Popular Culture” and “On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia After 7/7,” were released in the year 2013.

 

Huq has made appearances on a variety of television networks, including Channel S, Bangla TV, Channel 4 News, and BBC News 24. She has been featured on the Today show broadcast on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, and BBC Asian Network on the radio. During an interview in 2004, Huq stated, “I originally started DJing for a hospital radio station when I was about 17 and now I DJ in clubs and pubs in Manchester.” Huq claims that she has worked as a DJ on a part-time basis. At the birthday party she threw for herself in 2022, she honored both her own 50th birthday and her son’s 18th birthday by returning to the turntables.

 

Early political career 

Tony Banks and Patricia Hewitt employed Huq in the capacity of researcher. During the election for the European Parliament that took place in North West England in 2004, she ran as a candidate for Labour.

At the general election in 2005, she was the Labour Party candidate in the Chesham and Amersham constituency for the seat of the House of Commons.

In 2008, she was a member of the “Understanding Islam” group that traveled to Bangladesh on behalf of the United Kingdom’s Department of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

In the election that took place in 2010, Huq was one of three Labour candidates running for a council seat in Walpole, which is located within the Ealing constituency.

Huq was selected by Labour to be the party’s potential parliamentary candidate for the Ealing Central and Acton constituency in November 2013, with the intention of challenging the incumbent Conservative MP Angie Bray in the 2015 general election.

She was one of 15 Labour candidates to get financial help from Lord Matthew Oakeshott, a former Liberal Democrat, in the amount of £10,000. This assistance was provided in January of 2015. During the campaign for the election, Huq was subjected to inappropriate touching by Karim Sacoor, a former vice-chairman of the local Conservative branch. Sacoor was caught on video repeatedly attempting to drag Huq away from Boris Johnson, who was campaigning with her Conservative rival Angie Bray. Huq was attempting to speak with Johnson.

 

Parliamentary career 

In May of 2015, Huq received a 274 majority vote to win the election for the Ealing Central and Acton seat. Angie Bray, the previous incumbent, received 21,728 votes, and Huq received 22,002 votes to win the election. The turnout was 71.4%.

In April of 2017, the Green Party made the decision to not run a candidate for her seat in the general election, stating their reasoning as follows: “By and large we quite like Rupa. She has made some pretty noteworthy statements regarding climate change, environmental concerns, proportional representation, and Heathrow in relation to Brexit.” In May of 2017, Vince Cable made a comment about how he had driven Huq home after they had participated in a speaking event together, adding, “After a couple of hours of conversation, it was abundantly evident that our perspectives on practically every issue were almost identical to one another. As a result, I would have a hard time casting a vote against someone like that, and I really hope that the people in this country are able to make discerning decisions and behave in a constructive manner in their thoughts and actions.” In the general election held in June 2017, Huq was successful in defending her seat with a larger majority of 13,807 votes.

 

Personal life 

In 2003, Huq wed Karim Murji, and the couple has a son named Rafi (born in 2004). Her elder sister, Nutun, is an architect. Her younger sister is former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq.

The diagnosis of prostate cancer was given to her father in 2008, and he passed away on September 5, 2014. After a prolonged battle with illness that lasted for several months, her mother passed away on May 21st, 2017.

Huq is fluent in four languages: English, Bengali, French, and Hindi.

 

Books 

Year Title Publisher ISBN
2006 Beyond Subculture: Pop, Youth and Identity in a Postcolonial World Bloomsbury Academic ISBN 978-0415278157
2013 Making Sense of Suburbia Through Popular Culture Routledge ISBN 978-1780932248
On the Edge: The Contested Cultures of English Suburbia Lawrence and Wishart ISBN 978-1907103728
2016 Reading the Riot Act: Reflections on the 2011 urban disorders in England Routledge ISBN 978-1138648388