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Abbott hailed as ‘trailblazer’ as she becomes Mother of the House

05 Jul 2024 2 minute read
Diane Abbott speaking at a rally. Photo Ian West/PA Wire

Diane Abbott has been dubbed a “trailblazer” as she earned the symbolic title Mother of the House.

The moniker is given to the woman MP with the longest continuous service.

Ms Abbott, 70, was first elected in June 1987 – becoming the first black woman elected to the House of Commons.

Despite a tumultuous few months, Ms Abbott gained an overwhelming majority in her Hackney seat on the July 4 election.

She earned more votes than all her fellow candidates combined, picking up 60% of the vote share in her Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency.

The Fawcett Society, a charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Huge congratulations to @HackneyAbbott MP, who takes up the mantle as Mother of the House – the longest-standing woman MP.

“Diane is a trailblazer, first elected in 1987, and we look forward to working with her in her new position.”

Harriet Harman

The title was previously held by Labour veteran Harriet Harman, who did not stand at this election after four decades in office.

Some believed that Ms Abbott’s ally Jeremy Corbyn would become Father of the House.

But Sir Edward Leigh, 73, Conservative MP for Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, pipped him to the title, as he was sworn in moments before Mr Corbyn after the June 1983 election.

Elsewhere, the youngest MP is believed to be Sam Carling, the new Labour MP for North West Cambridgeshire.

He narrowly won the seat, with Conservative candidate Shailesh Vara just 39 votes behind.

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Welsh Patriot
Welsh Patriot
17 days ago

I hope in her new role as Mother of Parliament she doesn’t have to supervise any counts!

Shân Morgain
Shân Morgain
16 days ago

I note no news on Diane in the main media. But here’s saying how I love her for her great courage against hostility and slurs, for her integrity and her hard work. She and Angela Rayner are my favourite MPs.

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