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Black History Month Profile - Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott is a British Member of Parliament, who has been the sitting MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington since the 1987 General Election, representing Labour.

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Abbott is both the first ever black woman elected to Parliament, as well as the longest-serving black MP within the House of Commons. 

‘I came into politics because of my concern about the relationship of the state to communities that are marginalised and suspected. It is easy to stand up for the civil liberties of our friends or of people in our trade union, but it is not easy to stand up for the civil liberties of people who are unpopular, suspected and look suspicious—people the tabloids print a horror story about every day. However, it is a test of Parliament that we are willing to stand up for the civil liberties of the marginalised, the suspect and the unpopular.’1 

The above quote comes from 2008 debate on the Counter-Terrorism Bill, in which she was opposed to the Labour Government’s bill, as she was of many of New Labour policies.  

A socialist, Abbott opposed the Iraq War and the proposal for National ID Cards.  

Often a target of online hate, Abbott has continued to successfully represent her constituents and championed causes in educational achievement for black students in London. 


To see more Black History Month profiles, news, resources and events, visit the SU Black History Month hub. 


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