Diane Abbott

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Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the MP Diane Abbott. She was the first black woman to become a Member of Parliament and, after her election in 1987, she said she would find herself sitting on the green benches of the House of Commons wondering whether she was really entitled to be there.

It was not the first British institution she'd cracked - she had already propelled herself through Cambridge and then into the Civil Service. But she has not always sat comfortably inside these great bastions of the establishment; she says Gordon Brown booted her off an influential committee because she asked too many questions; she was a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq and she attracted a good deal of controversy when she decided to send her son to private school.

After more than 20 years in the House of Commons, she is, she says, happy for people to judge her on what she has done and what she has stood up for.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Nkosi Sikelel 'Iafrika by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Book: Volumes of architectural and historical surveys of London
Luxury: A nice bed with comfortable mattress, sheets & mosquito net.

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45 minutes

Last on

Fri 23 May 2008 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestDiane Abbott

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