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It’s been quite a day for Labour. Party members and trade unionists began to receive their postal ballots, to choose the next party leader, and Tony Blair, decided to unleash his memoirs on us, some would argue, furthering dissent amongst party members and distancing voters.
In the midst of last minute rallying, we caught up with Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott, the lone female and Black contender for Labour party leadership, with a few Hackney related questions.
What three things do you most like about Hackney?
The three things I like the most about Hackney is the diversity of the borough, the large number of parks we have (the most of any London borough) and the East London Line which has made my commute to Westminster far easier and far more pleasant.
What are your greatest frustrations about working in the constituency?
Sometimes bureaucracy in government departments and councils means that things do not move as fast as they could or should, which can be frustrating.
What three things do you most want to achieve for Hackney in the next five years?
I want to fight the effect these Lib-Con cuts will have on our borough, campaign for more jobs on the Olympic site and continue to work to improve achievement in our schools.
Dalston has now become one of London’s coolest areas for a certain crowd. Is there a danger of an increasing divide between the more affluent middle class moving in, and lower income residents in the constituency?
There has always been a middle class in Hackney. If anything, the new people coming into the borough are more diverse and more open minded than some existing residents so I welcome newcomers.
The endless rounds of hustings for Labour leadership must be a bit tedious – do you think the process could be improved?
The number of hustings for the Labour leadership has been very challenging. We’ve been everywhere from Glasgow to Bournemouth and Newcastle to Leicester, to name but a few.
But I think the process is working. The hustings enable party members to see us on an equal footing, they are always packed and the response from members has been very enthusiastic.