Diane Abbott to speak at memorial event for Rugby's first Afro-Caribbean mayor

Mr Williams joined by Cody the British barn owl as he celebrates St Georges day in 2011.
Mr Williams joined by Cody the British barn owl as he celebrates St Georges day in 2011.

The shadow home secretary is set to travel to Rugby as part of a Labour party event to celebrate the memory of the late Donald Williams, the town’s first Afro-Caribbean mayor.

Diane Abbott was the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons, and on October 26 she will speak at Mr Williams’ memorial event.

Jamaican born Mr Williams came to Rugby with his late brother, Winston Williams, in 1957 and served the community for decades, culminating in his becoming mayor in 2010.

Following his death earlier this year family, friends and colleagues from the Labour party praised him as a ‘great man’ and a ‘giant in the community’.

October’s event will be the first Don Williams Memorial Address – an event Rugby Labour said will become an annual occurrence.

Dr Debbie Bannigan, Rugby’s Labour prospective parliamentary candidate, said: “We’re very excited to welcome Diane Abbott back to Rugby, and delighted that she has agreed to be part of this celebration of Don Williams’ life and contribution to the town.

“It’s going to be a very special evening, with food, music and - of course - the chance to hear from Diane.”

Tickets are £15 and the event takes place in Rugby on October 26, between 7pm and 10.30pm.

Organisers said booking in advance is vital.

For more information, and to book tickets, visit rugby.laboursites.org/2018/10/01/don-williams-memorial-address.