Diane Abbott is the first black woman elected as a Member of Parliament in Britain.

Diane Abbott won her seat for the Labour Party in the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington in the 1987 general election held on 11 June.

Eithne Hand meets 34-year-old Diane Abbott to discuss her background in the Labour Party, women's groups, community organisations and the London City Council. They also discuss how she initially became involved in politics which stemmed from her recognition that certain things were wrong and needed changing.

I wanted to take part in the process of change.

While she is now an MP and in a position to help this change occur, she is aware that

Power is always one step beyond where you actually are.

Describing what it is like to be a black woman in politics surrounded by white men she believes it is important for young women to see another woman that they can relate to in a position of power. 

I read history at university and I believe in the possibilities of change and I think that things are changing in politics in Britain.

Diane Abbott is also advocating for the establishment of a black group within the British Labour Party. She refutes the idea that people are not interested in politics. 

Politics is everything that happens to you.

On the gender imbalance in politics she believes that it is important to build women's confidence and for women to support other women.

The difference between men speaking and women speaking is that when women speak it's because they've got something to say. When men speak it's purely to hear the sound of their own voice.

This episode of 'Borderline' was broadcast on 8 December 1987. The reporter is Eithne Hand.

'Borderline' was first broadcast on Saturday 11 October 1986 and was presented by Aonghus McAnally, Ronan Johnston, and Majella Nolan. 

The Saturday morning teenage programme featured bands, newcomers getting their first break and the latest in pop videos, fashion, film and video making. The programme also featured a live phone in, celebrity guests and a participating studio audience.