First black woman MP
Born on 27 September, 1953, in London of Jamaican parents, Abbott was educated at Harrow County Girls’ Grammar School and Newnham College, Cambridge, with an MA in History. A journalist by profession, she worked as an administrative trainee with the Home Office, Race Relations Officer for the National Council for Civil Liberties, a reporter with TV AM and Thames Television, Public Relations Officer with the GLC and Head of Lambeth Council’s Press Office.
Abbott was active in the Black Sections movement within the Labour Party and in community politics, including Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent, the Scrap Sus campaign to ban police stop-and-search tactics levelled at Black youth, and was a founder member of the Black Media Workers’ Organisation.
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