Portrait of Diane Abbott MP on display in Manchester

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01 June 2018

The UK Parliament has loaned a portrait of Diane Abbott MP to the People’s History Museum in Manchester for the new exhibition 'Represent! Voices 100 Years On' (2 June 2018 - 3 February 2019).

The exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of Parliament passing the Representation of the People Act, which gave most men and some women in the UK the right to vote.

The objects on display highlight the people who campaigned for better representation and question how far society has progressed in a century.

In 1987, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first ever black woman elected to the UK Parliament. She has since built a distinguished parliamentary career, including serving on a number of committees on social and international issues. Since 2015 she has held increasingly important roles the Labour Shadow Cabinet and is currently Shadow Home Secretary.

In recognition of Diane Abbott’s important place in parliamentary history, the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art commissioned Stuart Pearson Wright to paint her portrait. The work was unveiled in 2004 and usually hangs as part of the contemporary portrait collection in Portcullis House.

The loan of the portrait was agreed to by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art.

Rt Hon. Diane Abbott MP said:

"I am pleased that my portrait, which is usually on display at Parliament, will be exhibited at the People’s History Museum for this thought-provoking exhibition. I hope it helps encourage visitors to reflect on how much we have achieved in the last 100 years, and how far we still have to go."

Alison McGovern MP, Chair of the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art said:

"As the first ever black female MP, Diane Abbott’s membership of the House of Commons is a significant event in history. The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art is delighted to loan the portrait of Abbott to the People’s History Museum for their important exhibition, Represent! Voices 100 Years On."

'Represent! Voices 100 Years On'

Location: People’s History Museum, Manchester
Dates: 2 June 2018 – 3 February 2019
Price: FREE

Image: Detail of 'Diane Abbott MP' by Stuart Pearson Wright, oil on canvas, 2004 (Parliamentary Art Collection, WOA 6270

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Works of Art (Speaker's Advisory Committee)

The Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art is appointed by the Speaker to advise on matters relating to works of art in the House of Commons