How many, if any at all, does she have?
We wrote a week or so ago that the number of unpaid interns she has/has had at one time could reach double figures. This was based on various conversations we have had with interns and ex-interns over the past year. Abbott’s name kept cropping up when we asked about high numbers of interns working for MPs (along with Lib Dem Simon Hughes), and adverts like this certainly don’t dispel these doubts.
The blog Blood and Property got in touch with Diane and asked her how many unpaid interns she has…
At the moment, Diane has no unpaid interns. The allegation that she has ‘nearly 10′ is completely untrue. Her last intern was paid the minimum wage. You will notice that the accusation made of Diane in the blog postings are completely unsubstantiated.
I would suggest that other people working in Portcullis House, where many MPs have offices, may have tallied the number of different non-pass-holders entering her office and assumed that they were all interns. Diane has a more diverse range of staff and guests than most MPs, so the people at her office are noticeable.
Diane does have several people volunteering for her leadership campaign (some of whom come to see her at parliamentary office for reasons of convenience). Her leadership campaign must be funded and staffed independently of her parliamentary expenses and volunteers work out of her campaign office in Hampsted on a day-to-day basis.
In order to get to the bottom of this we need to hear from ex Diane Abbott interns. Have you been one? Where you paid? What was your experience like? And most important of all, how many other interns worked for her? Please get in touch here.