Cover 9781785906039

More than three decades after her election to Parliament, Diane Abbott is still racking up firsts. The first black woman elected to Parliament, she also recently became the first black person to represent their party at PMQs.

Abbott came to fame in the 1980s as part of a new generation of Labour activists, quickly dubbed the ‘loony left’ by right-wing tabloids. Decades later she is still a divisive figure. Inside the Brexit echo chamber she is treated with unparalleled contempt. Yet for her supporters she is a trailblazer, someone who has remained true to her principles and her community after thirty years in ‘the belly of the beast’.

Based on interviews with her colleagues, her political opponents and friends from school and university, as well as extensive archival research, Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography traces Abbott’s path from London, via Cambridge University, through the media and radical politics into Parliament, and then to the top of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow Cabinet.


“Diane is a fearless trailblazer whose record of breaking down barriers, overcoming obstacles and fighting injustice is truly inspirational. When I entered Parliament, Diane was the only other black woman in the Commons, and I have had the honour and privilege of working alongside her in fighting for justice and equality over many years. I’m delighted that her amazing story is finally being showcased, and it is beautifully captured in this brilliant book.”

Dawn Butler MP

“When someone is talked about as much as Diane Abbott is, it’s easy to assume you know everything about her. But after this compelling read many will find they knew little at all. Diane earned the title trailblazer long before she stepped into the political arena, and her achievements far exceed the frequent misrepresentations. In this meticulously researched political biography, the story of the first black woman elected to Parliament is not only brought to life, it’s brought into context.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP

“As this excellent biography shows, Diane’s story is about staying power in the best traditions of the Caribbean community. Proud of her Jamaican working-class background, she made it to Cambridge, worked in media and the unions and was elected a councillor and MP. At every stage of her life she has defied the odds. She has suffered more racist abuse and vilification than anyone else but she always holds her principles and integrity aloft. An inspiration to this and succeeding generations!”

Jeremy Corbyn
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  • Hardback, 352 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785906039
  • 17 September 2020
    Available to pre-order
  • £20.00

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  • ISBN: 9781785906275
  • 17 September 2020
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