Diane Abbott takes the Dalston train wheel

© Gabe TRODD

Junior minister and Hackney MP lines up for a bit of multi-tasking

COMMUTERS gasped as they saw MP Diane Abbott step into the driver’s cab of a London Overground train at Highbury and Islington station just ater the morning peak period.

There was, however, little to fear. The shadow public health minister, and member for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, had simply decided to hold a photo-op to celebrate the East London Line’s link from Dalston Junction to the North London Line – she wasn’t really going to drive the train.

OK, she about about two months’ late in marking the link, only one journalist turned up (me), and his cameras (film – yes, ancient) weren’t working properly.

But Hackney’s grand dame was not to be put off. Once a professional driver had taken the helm, she and an assistant (young, male) set out for New Cross Gate (grey, industrial).
He’ll no doubt be told to boost the junior minister’s public profile: a much-loved public figure would usually be offered a seat but on the trip back to North London Abbott had to stand; she did not appear to be recognised.

David Altheer 300511 

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

* “It’s my train set and I’ll play if I wanna” Photograph courtesy Gabe Trodd.
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