Diane Abbott, the British Labour MP and the Shadow Home Secretary, will be in Galway this weekend to give the keynote address at the 25th Annual Tom Johnson Summer School in NUI Galway, organised by Labour Youth.
Ms Abbott is the Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, a constituency she has represented since 1987. She was also the first black woman to become an MP. Her address will take place tomorrow [Friday July 12] at 8.30pm in the HBB Building, NUI Galway, at 8.30pm.
Born in Paddington to a working-class British Jamaican family, Ms Abbott studied history at Newnham College, Cambridge University, and worked as a reporter for Thames Television and TV-am before becoming press officer for the Greater London Council. Joining UK Labour, she was elected to Westminster City Council in 1982 and then as an MP in 1987.
Critical of Tony Blair's New Labour project which pushed the party to the centre in the 1990s, she voted against several Blairite policies in the House of Commons, including the Iraq War. She became Shadow Minister for Public Health under Ed Miliband in 2010. A close friend and ally of Jeremy Corbyn, she was a suporter of his leadership bid in 2015, and has since served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Shadow Health Secretary, and Shadow Home Secretary.
The Tom Johnson Summer School, now in its 25th year, will take place tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday, and explore the theme, ‘Defending Democracy’. Othere speakers at the event will be Cllr Niall McNelis, senators Ged Nash and Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, and transgender healthcare campaigner, Noah Halpin. There will be discussions on workers' rights; the rise of the far right; climate change; financial inequality; and healthcare.