Dawn Butler was born to immigrants from Jamaica, and is one of six children. She worked on a market stall and in a bakery in her youth but started her career as a computer programmer/systems analyst and then working as a trade unionist. Her desire to enter politics came from a deep rooted commitment to address inequality.
Elected as the Member of Parliament for Brent South on 5 May 2005 Dawn’s maiden speech described her constituency as a “shining example of integration at its best”. Dawn became the first elected African-Caribbean woman to become a Government Minister in the UK.
Dawn ran a hugely successful campaign in 2015 and won Brent Central with a majority of nearly 20,000; giving the largest vote swing in Britain.
Dawn has always been a passionate campaigner for young people; she is an Honorary Vice President of the British Youth Council, was formerly Chair of the APPG on Youth Affairs, a member of the Children & Families Select Committee and Vice Chair of the Labour Party with responsibility for Youth. Her work on youth led to Dawn being appointed as the Minister for Young Citizens & Youth Engagement at the Cabinet Office by Gordon Brown.
A natural campaigner, since returning to Parliament Dawn has taken on the ‘Big 6’ energy companies over the excessive cost of pre-payment meters. She has held a Westminster Hall debate, launched a national petition and secured a commitment from the Prime Minister to look at this issue.
Dawn was recently voted the People's Choice Labour Party MP of the Year.