Diane Julie Abbott (born 27 September 1953) is a British politician who served as the Shadow Home Secretary in the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn from 2016 to 2020. She has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington (Labour) since 1987. She made history as the first black woman to be elected to Parliament, and she is the longest-serving black MP in the House of Commons.
“Diane Abbott’s treatment in the media in recent years has been nothing short of a public persecution. Whether it is in regards to her drinking a ‘tinnie’ on the London Overground last spring or her getting the numbers wrong when discussing Labour’s plans for more police officers – two mistakes which would have only resulted in a slap on the wrist for a white politician – resulted in her being at the receiving end of a culmination of racism and misogyny.
For many people of colour across the country, this sort of abuse isn’t surprising. We know that the British media holds a certain apathy towards any politician that deviates from the white, cis-gendered, heterosexual ‘norm’. What surprised us when reading the leaked Labour report, that came out Sunday evening, was that the main perpetrators of these acts of violence towards her were her own colleagues.
We were left aghast as we read how while Diane Abbott had to excuse herself to the bathroom – crying over death threats she had received that day – her colleagues were laughing about it in their WhatsApp group chat, all too ready to call the press about it.”