Diane Abbott

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The Right Honourable
Diane Abbott
MP
Official portrait of Ms Diane Abbott crop 2.jpg
Shadow Home Secretary
Assumed office
6 October 2016
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Andy Burnham
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Preceded by Heidi Alexander
Succeeded by Jonathan Ashworth
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
Leader Jeremy Corbyn
Preceded by Mary Creagh
Succeeded by Kate Osamor
Member of Parliament
for Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Assumed office
11 June 1987
Majority 35,139 (62.4%)
Personal details
Born Diane Julie Abbott
(1953-09-27) 27 September 1953 (age 66)
Website Official website


Diane Julie Abbott (born 27 September 1953) was appointed Shadow Home Secretary in October 2016. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the 1987 general election, when she became the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons.

Political career

Abbott's career in politics began in 1982 when she was elected to Westminster City Council, serving until 1986. In 1983 she was active in the Black Sections movement, alongside Bernie Grant, Paul Boateng and Keith Vaz, campaigning for greater ethnic minority political representation. In 1985 she unsuccessfully fought to be selected in Brent East, losing out to Ken Livingstone. In 1987 she was elected to the House of Commons, replacing the deselected serving Labour MP Ernie Roberts as MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington. Abbott was the first black woman to become an MP, elected in the same year as Keith Vaz, Bernie Grant and Paul Boateng.

Abbott has served on a number of parliamentary committees on social and international issues and held shadow ministerial positions. For most of the 1990s she also served on the Treasury Select Committee of the House of Commons. She went on to serve on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

Abbott chairs the All-Party Parliamentary British-Caribbean Group and the All-Party Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Group.

Abbott is founder of the London Schools and the Black Child initiative, which aims to raise educational achievement levels amongst black children.

In May 2010, she was re-elected in her constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, with a doubled majority on an increased turn-out. She was again re-elected in 2015 with 62% of the vote.

On 20 May 2010, Abbott announced her intention to stand in the Labour leadership contest. She secured the necessary 33 nominations by 9 June, assisted by the withdrawal of left-wing candidate John McDonnell and support from David Miliband and Jack Straw, among others. On Saturday 25 September 2010, Ed Miliband was announced as the new leader of the Labour Party with Abbott eliminated in the first round of voting after securing 7.24% of votes.

Abbott was later appointed Shadow Minister for Public Health by Ed Miliband, taking shadow responsibility for a range of issues including children's health, maternity services, sexual health, tobacco, nursing, obesity and alcohol abuse.

Template:Main On 8 October 2013, Abbott was sacked as shadow public health minister in a reshuffle by Labour leader Ed Miliband, and replaced as Shadow Public Health Minister by Luciana Berger.

On 5 February 2013, following the Second Reading, Abbott voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

On 23 June 2014, Abbott had stated she would consider standing in the London mayoral election, 2016, as Mayor of London. On 30 November 2014, Abbott announced her intention to put herself forward to become Labour's candidate at the London mayoral elections in 2016. She was unsuccessful in her bid for Labour's 2015 London mayoral election nomination.

An ally of Jeremy Corbyn, Abbott was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate him as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015. Following Corbyn's election as Labour leader, Abbott was appointed to the post of Shadow Secretary of State for International Development.

On 27 June 2016, Abbott was promoted to the position of Shadow Health Secretary.

On 6 October 2016, after the resignation of Andy Burnham, Abbott was appointed Shadow Home Secretary. She was sworn of the Privy Council on 15 February 2017.

On 7 June, Corbyn announced that Abbott was "not well" and had stepped aside in her role as Shadow Home Secretary. Lyn Brown was temporarily assigned to replace her. Barry Gardiner said in radio interview on LBC that Abbott had been diagnosed with having a "long-term" medical condition and was "coming to terms with that". Abbott was re-elected in her seat of Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the 2017 general election, receiving 75% of the constituency's votes with an increased majority of over 35,000.