Dianne Abbott MP


Diane Abbott began her political career in 1982 when she was elected to Westminster City Council, serving until 1986. In 1983 she was active in the Black Sections movement, alongside Bernie Grant, Paul Boateng and Keith Vaz, campaigning for greater ethnic minority political representation.

She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the 1987 general election, when she became the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons. She was appointed Shadow Home Secretary in October 2016.

Helen Grant MP


Helen Grant obtained a law degree at the University of Hull and qualified as a solicitor in 1988. She was a non-executive director of the Croydon NHS Primary Care Trust from January 2005 until retiring in March 2007 to concentrate on becoming an MP.

Helen was elected as Member of Parliament for the constituency of Maidstone & the Weald at the 2010 General Election, becoming the first Anglo-African female Conservative MP and Minister. She was quickly promoted to Minister for Justice 2012-13, Minister for Women and Equalities 2012-2014 and Minister for Sport and Tourism from 2013-2015.

Bim Afolami MP


Bim Afolami studied at Bishopsgate School, Eton College and University College, Oxford where he studied modern history, was vice president of the Oxford Union Society and played football for the university.

Before he became an MP, he worked as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and then as a senior executive at HSBC. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Ditchley Foundation. He has also served as a primary school governor for several years.

Chi Onwurah MP


Chinyela ‘Chi’ Onwurah attended Kenton School before studying Electrical Engineering, graduating from Imperial College in 1987. Ms Onwurah worked in hardware and software management, product management, market development and strategy for a variety of companies in the UK, France, US, Nigeria, and Denmark.

She also has an MBA from Manchester Business School and has Chartered Engineer status. Ms Onwurah became Newcastle’s first black MP in the 2010 election. She was appointed as junior Shadow Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2010 and then was appointed Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office in 2013.

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A-CAN brings together professionals that were previously members of an African Caribbean Society at any UK university.

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