I noticed a tweet today from the Labour candidate for the Ealing Central & Acton constituency Rupa Huq offering some pledges. Ah! I thought. Some meat to get into at last. I will get back to her pledges but the first thing I noticed about her website was the photo showing Rupa with a bike at the Bike Hub at Ealing Broadway. I have often bumped into Rupa and I have never seen her on a bike. This does not make her a bad person. I have an old Holdsworth racer that I use rarely when the weather is fine. It doesnâ€™t really make me a cyclist – or a bad person that I donâ€™t cycle much. When I saw the photo of Rupa with a bike my first impression was â€œfakeâ€.
When I looked again and saw it was a huge, fancy road bike with those lay downy elbow support things I knew it was a posed picture with someone else’s bike. At least when council leader Julian Bell and Labour transport spokesman Bassam Mahfouz endlessly pose on their bikes you know they do actually cycle regularly.
There is something inauthentic about Rupa. She keeps telling little lies.
One of her favourite ones, repeated only this week is that she has had any role in local politics. She spent one year as Deputy Mayoress to Labour Councillor John Gallagher in 2010/11. John didnâ€™t have a partner so Rupa was his official wife for the year. This role involved riding around in the Mayorâ€™s car and eating vol au vents at official functions. Rupa wants people to think she has played a substantive role in local politics. She hasnâ€™t. She is fibbing.
If you want to read something really embarrassing about this period in her life read this in the Guardian. Please!
Rupa keeps missing out information about her schooling. She is up front about going to Montpelier Primary School but keeps missing out the elite Notting Hill and Ealing High School in her CV. Maybe leave out both or discuss both but to mention one and not the other is to seek to deceive.
Her third fib is the whole Dr Huq thing. Sure she has a doctorate and she is a bright woman no doubt. But, if you are going to talk about the NHS as your main campaign theme and call yourself Dr, then you invite people to make an assumption about you that simply isnâ€™t true.
Yes, Rupa is a local woman and capable I am sure but she comes across as being inauthentic.