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Sep 8, 2023

As the third Black woman ever to be elected as an MP, and then instated as a government Minister, Dawn Butler has been vocal on the disrespect that Black women face in politics.

As an outspoken campaigner herself, Butler was criticised in 2019 for calling Boris Johnson a liar in the House of Commons. She was subsequently asked to leave the Parliament grounds that day. 

Whilst calling for the former Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, to resign, she ironically found herself being stopped by the police whilst driving with her friend (who is also Black). 

After facing a long battle with breast cancer in 2021, she found inspiration to write her first book, ‘A Purposeful Life’, where she draws on the repeated times she’s been called a liar after facing racism and sexism both in politics and outside of it. 

In today’s episode of Ways to Change the World, Labour MP Dawn Butler speaks to Krishnan Guru-Murthy about calling Boris Johnson a liar in Parliament, white feminism in the Labour party (and at large) and her ambitions to be the next Mayor of London. Being a Black person in a white-dominated space, she also tells us why wearing a lime-green suit in a sea of grey-suits was her way of realising you don’t have to fit in.

Produced by Silvia Maresca