Labour MP Nadia Whittome returns to Parliament after three-month absence with PTSD

‘I’m making a good recovery, I feel well, I’m excited to be back representing the people of Nottingham East in Parliament’

Celine Wadhera
Monday 06 September 2021 05:54
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Nadia Whittome excited to return to parliament, following leave of absence

Britain’s youngest MP is set to return to parliament on Monday, following a three-month leave of absence where she was able to recover from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Labour’s Nadia Whittome has said that she is “feeling well” and is “excited” about her return to the Commons as the House is set to return from its summer recess.

The 25-year-old MP from Nottingham announced that she would be taking a leave of absence in May, as she had been struggling to manage her PTSD whilst serving in her role and effectively engaging with constituents, often working seven days a week.

“I’m making a good recovery, I feel well, I’m excited to be back representing the people of Nottingham East in Parliament,” she said in a video shared across her social media accounts.

“I want to thank everyone for your understanding over the last three months.”

In the video, she drew attention to work that her office continued to do throughout her leave to serve constituents, including helping families in overcrowded housing, preventing two deportations, and assisting people with relatives in Afghanistan.

In an interview, Ms Whittome told NottinghamshireLive that she received an “overwhelmingly positive” response to her leave of absence, with many colleagues, MPs and constituents expressing their support for her decision.

She told the outlet that one of her priorities upon returning to the House would be ensuring that anyone suffering a mental health crisis has the right to take time off work to recover.

“I had the support of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer and his office, I had the support of my fellow Nottingham MPs and my office staff who have been absolutely phenomenal,” she said.

“Taking time off work that you need to recover should be a right for everyone, not a privilege, and the reality is far too many people cannot take the time of that they need because they are in precarious jobs.

“So that’s why I feel I am coming back with a renewed determination to make sure that everyone has that right.”

Ms Whittome has said that that she is “honoured to be back” representing her community, and that she looks forward to tackling issues including cuts to Universal Credit, the housing crisis, and the climate catastrophe “with renewed determination”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the young MP back, sharing her video on Twitter and adding: “We’re all delighted to have you back, Nadia”.

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