Memory bank! Diane Abbott receives over £18K advance for upcoming biography

Keir Starmer 'needs to listen to his party more' says Diane Abbott

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Publisher Viking Penguin paid the former shadow home secretary £18,450 in March for 80 hours of work on “A Woman Like Me” – which is due to be released next June. This is equivalent to £225-an-hour.

The publisher secured the rights to the autobiography after a fierce bidding war between six firms, it has been claimed.

It is not known how much Ms Abbott – a close ally of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – will finally receive and this is likely to be dependent at least partially on sales.

News of the payment came shortly after the outspoken MP for Hackney and Stoke Newington slammed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget.

In a comment piece for the Hackney Gazette, she claimed that it continued “the long and terrible tradition” of Tory governments “robbing people on average and low incomes and giving to the rich”.

She claimed the Conservative’s budget contained a “series of measures (which) clobber people who are already struggling”.

“The increase in national insurance is a whopping tax rise, and is unique in that only the ultra high-paid are protected from it,” she claimed.

“And we know that universal credit is being cut, which affects some of the poorest households including millions who are in work.”

Ms Abbott – who was Parliament’s first black female MP – concluded: “So, a good budget for bankers and the high paid who fly everywhere.

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“For anyone else, it made a bad situation worse.”

News about Ms Abbott’s upcoming book emerged earlier this year.

Ahead of its release, a synopsis said it will track her life from “growing up in Sixties north London with her working-class Jamaican parents, before entering the hallowed halls of Cambridge University to study history.

“Ever since the day she first walked through the House of Commons as the only state-educated black woman MP, she has been a fearless and vocal champion for the causes that have made Britain what it is today.”

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It describes the book as an “honest and moving memoir” which “takes the reader through her incredible journey”.

The “candid account” is due to be published on the 35th anniversary of her election to Parliament.

The news isn’t the only large payday that Ms Abbott has earned.

In 2017 it emerged that she had been paid more than £110,000 in licence payers’ cash to appear on BBC between then and 2003.

The 68-year-old was also paid thousands speaking on expert panels

Express.co.uk has contacted Ms Abbott and the Labour Party for comment.

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