Diane Abbott, MP
Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. Entered Parliament on 11th June 1987 - General election.
In June 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman ever elected to the British Parliament for the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington.
Since then, she has built a distinguished career as a parliamentarian, broadcaster, and commentator.
Diane Abbott was born in 1953. Ms Abbott was educated at the Harrow County Girls Grammar School then on to Newham College, Cambridge gaining a B.A and MA in History. Abbott started her career as a Civil Servant, and then became a Broadcast journalist.
For most of the 1990's she also served on the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons. This is the committee which deals with business and finance matters. As a member of this committee Diane travelled frequently to Washington DC, New York, Frankfurt, and other financial centres. She met with senior politicians, bankers, and financial regulators internationally. She helped to author a series of official reports on issues such as Britain's entry into the Euro.
Other roles Ms Abbott has served in include being elected to the National Executive of the Labour Party and the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. As a member of the committee she travelled to Kenya, Uganda, China, Hong Kong and many countries in Europe. She took a particular interest in human rights. Most recently, she has set up a special parliamentary committee investigating gun crime.
Diane is an experienced public speaker and broadcaster. She has spoken at colleges and universities all over the United States including Ivy League universities like Harvard. She also appears regularly on radio and television.
She started the initiative London Schools and the Black Child to deal with the increasing problem concerning educational underachievement in black communities. She also started Black Women Mean Business (BWMB) with the aim of supporting and celebrating black business women. BWMB currently has around 500 women members, many of whom are actively involved in a range of small to medium businesses.
In 2008, she won the Spectator Speech of the Year awards and the Human Rights award.