norman lebrecht

September 06, 2023

The last pre-election reshuffle of UK Labour’s frontline team includes a busy cellist as Shadow Secretary for Culture.

Thangam Elizabeth Rachel Debbonaire was elected Member of Parliament for Bristol West in 2015 and promptly formed a House of Commons string quartet, which showed a good grasp of priorities. In her first year as an MP she took time out to deal with cancer but by 2016 she was back in the rehearsal room.

She was educated at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School and Chetham’s School of Music, dropped out of a maths course at the University of Oxford and continued studying cello at the Royal College of Music. She is married to an opera singer, Kevin Walton.

She’s one of us.

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By mrtrv

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