Shadow Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Diane Abbott, made an historic appearance during the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ) in the UK when she became the first black person to lead a political party at the PMQ. She faced off against Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, who was standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
She took the place of Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and specifically addressed abuse by abortion posters that had been directed at Members of Parliament (MPs). She noted that Stella Creasy, a Labor colleague, had received death threats after the Prime Minister made inflammatory remarks.
Abbott is the first black woman MP in the country, the longest-serving black MP, a member of the Labour Party, and the Shadow Home Secretary since 2016. After graduating from Cambridge University, she served in HM Civil Service, as Race Relations Officer at the National Council for Civil Liberties, and worked as a reporter at Thames Television. She was press officer at the Greater London Council and Head of Public Relations at Lambeth Council.
Her political career took flight as a member of the Westminster City Council in 1985. She was elected to the House of Commons in 1987 to become the first black female MP. Abbott has served on a wide variety of parliamentary committees that address issues of social and international significance.
Her work has earned her the “Parliamentary Speech of the Year Award” by The Spectator magazine and she was recognized at the 2008 Human Rights Awards. The British-Jamaican MP founded the London Schools and the Black Child Initiative. Abbott also chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia.
Abbott was born into a Jamaican family in the Paddington area of London. She continues to support women’s issues and be an advocate against sexist and racist abuse wherever she encounters it.