Hackney South and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott, is gearing up for the Labour Party leadership race, after gaining the 33 nominations she needed to appear on the ballot papers.
In doing so, Abbott 57 becomes the first black person to contest the leadership of any major political British party.
She announced her intention to run last month saying: “The other candidates are all nice and would make good leaders of the Labour Party but they all look the same.
“We cannot be offering a slate of candidates who all look the same. The Labour Party’s much more diverse than that.”
She added: “I looked at the field and said ‘If not now, when?’ And “If not me, who?”’
Describing her victory, Operation Black Vote (OBV) director, Simon Woolley said: “This is truly a great day. Achieving the nomination is one thing, but doing so when the vast majority say you don’t stand a chance, demonstrates self-belief and a dynamism that few people in the world have. Diane’s achievement will undoubtedly inspire a generation of black men and women to become leaders.”
The late withdrawal by John McDonell, gave her a boost, when she gained all his nominations.
Ms Abbott has rejected claims that she was able to qualify because of “positive discrimination” by saying “There has been a huge surge of letters and emails from party members saying that they wanted a diverse group of people in this leadership contest. David [Miliband] and others responded to the feelings of the membership.