The story of Diane Abbot’s son is being deliberately ignored by most of the media.
Her son is called James Abbott-Thompson. The father is a Ghanian-born architect called David Percy Ayensu-Thompson. He and Abbott divorced a year after James’ birth. It seems that the father still lives in the UK, last time we heard of him it was when he revealed that Abbott had told him to keep quiet about the fact that the boy was being sent to private school.
In 2014 James, having been to private school and Cambridge (Trinity College), and having written for the Guardian, was taken into the UK’s Diplomatic Fast Stream, which sounds like a fast-track for high achievers, although seeing as they’re looking for graduates with a 2:2 in any subject, or existing civil servants without a degree, with a starting salary of 28k, I’d say that’s perhaps exaggerated. (The ‘Fast Stream’ title may just be branding.) But they’re not really going to consider the average person with a 2:2 from an average University, are they? A degree from Cambridge, a Labour MP for a mum, and the right politics is more what they’re looking for.
After two and a half years in London, he was stationed in the British Embassy in Rome and was appointed as the First Secretary for Exiting the EU.
At the age of just 27 he was working alongside the British Ambassador in Italy advising the British Consul and representatives of the British community in Italy about their rights post Brexit.
This ‘First Secretary for Exiting the EU’ role sounds a bit vague, and is probably grander-sounding than it really is, but clearly he was doing pretty well in the civil service. This is what his LinkedIn page says about this period of his life:
Title: First Secretary EU / Future Economic Partnership, British Embassy Rome
Dates Employed: Apr 2017 – Jun 2019
Employment Duration: 2 yrs 3 mos
Location: Roma, Italia
Newly-created role taken up on promotion. Lead a team of two to deliver the trade and commercial aspects of Brexit negotiations in Rome and the Future Economic Partnership between the U.K. and the EU / Italy. Engagement with MFA, Economic Development Finance Ministries and business community in Rome and Milan. Oversight of Italy Network Prosperity Fund project portfolio. Previously Brexit Coordinator for the Italy Network (setting up Brexit Committee, Big Six First Secretaries network, and programme of engagement with UK nationals in Italy) and Full-Time Italian Language Student (achieved operational C1 certification in Foreign Office Language Examinations with 93% in oral examinations).
He obviously had a top civil service career ahead of him, which makes his next move in mid-2019 a strange one:
Company Name: HewardMills – your global Data Protection Office (DPO)
Dates Employed: Jun 2019 – Present
Employment Duration: 8 mos
Location: Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
HewardMills is a professional services start-up at the cutting edge of European data protection and privacy issues. We provide Data Protection Officer (DPO) services to multinationals in Europe, the Middle East and the US wishing to outsourced and strengthen their privacy posture.
This sounds like a downhill move. I suppose it’s possible that there was oodles of money in it, which was why he moved, but it doesn’t sound like it to me. I suspect he had started going off the rails before then, and his civil service career was over.
On the last day of 2019 he appeared in Thames Court, charged with eleven offences. (It’s not clear from the scant media reports whether these include, or are additional to, the charge of biting a policeman incident we heard about earlier in 2019.) Most of these were for assaulting doctors and hospital workers and police, and one was for exposure (ie. he flashed his cock).
According to the Sun, one of the few papers to report on this:
most were allegedly committed while he was being treated for mental health issues.
So it seems safe to assume that he’s been going a bit mental. And I expect the BBC and co would defend their silence on this matter with the claim that it’s a sad tale of someone ‘struggling with mental health issues’, which isn’t in the public interest to report on. However, it can’t be that he’s completely mental, because otherwise the police wouldn’t have charged him, and he’d have been sectioned. So this doesn’t really wash. But a sad tale it certainly is.
Update: Just noticed that Guide Fawkes in this post say he was sacked from the civil service in June, and the first attack happened outside the embassy where he had worked.
Update 3: Let’s also not forget that Abbott tried to force the Daily Telegraph not to report on the earlier police-biting incident.
Update 4: Abbott-Thompson stood for President of the Cambridge Union in 2012, only eight years ago. Here’s his election manifesto – it’s pretty straightforward and normal. (Note the same photo that keeps reappearing.)