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Dr Rupa Huq Visits Ealing Green College for Colleges Week

Dr Rupa Huq, MP for Ealing Central and Acton, visited Ealing Green College to celebrate Colleges Week, which starts today, 26 February. Dr Huq met more than a hundred students from Creative Media Production, Science, IT and Computing, ESOL and Foundation Learning courses. As well as explaining what MPs do day-to-day, and how Parliament works, she encouraged the students to register to vote and to exercise their democratic right at the ballot box for the forthcoming Mayoral election in May, and the General Election expected later this year.

Dr Huq began by asking the students what the most famous landmark is in the world and was delighted to find that several of them knew it to be the Eiffel Tower. She explained that Big Ben, the iconic clock tower located at the Houses of Parliament, is second. Describing the advantages of democracy in the UK, Dr Huq told the students how as a backbench MP, she had been able to ask a question directly to then-Prime Minister, David Cameron, which she said would not be possible in many countries. She went on to talk about aspects of her work, including campaigning locally door to door, representing issues that affect her constituency, taking part in votes in the House of Commons, which lead to laws being made, and scrutinising the actions or policies of the Government.

The students asked her wide-ranging questions from her age, which she posed back to them as a numeracy question, asking the audience (“I was born in December 1972, so you tell me, how old am I”), and how she became an MP, to what she considered her main achievements to be.

She replied that she had been born and raised in Ealing and wanted to represent her local area. She was successfully selected by her local Labour party and gave up teaching sociology at Kingston University when she became an MP in 2015.

She focused on health-related achievements, which included being part of the long campaign to keep Ealing Hospital open, although her unhappiness that there are no longer maternity services there was clear, and how she had helped women using an Ealing reproductive choices clinic, who were faced with anti-abortion demonstrators as they entered. Ms Huq helped introduce restrictions so that the protesters could still gather freely to make their views known, but much further away from the clinic.

Sajada Sajid, Assistant Principal at West London College, said: “We were delighted that Rupa Huq MP was able to join our students to highlight her commitment to FE colleges as part of Colleges Week, as well as to encourage our students to become active citizens by getting involved in the democratic process.”

Rupa stayed on to answer questions from a group of students, several of whom were Ukrainian refugees who wanted to thank her for the welcome and support they had received in the UK. At the end of the morning, she walked to Ealing Broadway station on her way to Parliament where she was chairing a committee in the afternoon.

Rupa Huq MP said: “FE Colleges such as West London College are the backbone of our local communities supporting education, skills training and local businesses. We need to ensure they gain the recognition they deserve and are appropriately funded by Government.”

Colleges Week 2024

Colleges Week is an annual national celebration of further education colleges, promoting the essential work of the sector in education and training to meet the needs of the UK, and to drive the country’s economy forward. Colleges Week is organised by the Association of Colleges. Dr Rupa Huq MP studied Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral degree is in Cultural Studies, which she obtained from the University of East London.

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