Hull North MP Dame Diana Johnson fondly remembers the red Volkswagen Beetle she inherited from her mother

Dame Diana Johnson remembers her first car with great fondness. It was a red Volkswagen Beetle which she inherited from her mother.

Dame Diana, the MP for Hull North since 2005, said it was wonderful to be mobile.

“It was a wonderful car and I was very lucky,” she said. “I was in the my 20s when I got it and I kept it for a few years,” she said. “I am not very technically minded but I kept it going.

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“It was good to have a car but I guess I was a late starter when it came to driving because in London I didn’t really need a car.

Dame Diana Johnson had a red VW Beetle as her first carDame Diana Johnson had a red VW Beetle as her first car
Dame Diana Johnson had a red VW Beetle as her first car

“It was also lovely that it was a car which meant a lot to the family.

“Eventually I gave it to my brother and he did it up. It was a very memorable car.”

Dame Diana was born and raised in Cheshire and studied in London before she became a barrister. She became a councillor in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets from 1994 to 2002, serving as Chair of Social Services. She became a member of the London Assembly on March 1 2003 after the resignation of Trevor Phillips who became chair of the Commission for Racial Equality. She did not stand for re-election in 2004.

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At the May 2005 General Election she became Hull’s first woman MP when she succeeded Kevin McNamara in Hull North.

She later moved on to a Ford Focus which she kept for a long time and now has a red 2018 MINI. “I think I must go for red cars for political reasons,” she said.

“I drive quite a lot in and around Yorkshire but to go to London and back, which I do quite a lot, I tend to go by train.”

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for charitable and political service, in part for her campaigning on contaminated blood transfusions.

She was appointed to the Privy Council on March 10 2021.

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