A Purposeful Life

A Purposeful Life

What I’ve Learned About Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Change


'Dawn Butler is a history-making, game-changing, ceiling-smashing politician.
This powerful book offers a fascinating insight into both the personal and political sides of her journey.'
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

'When I was younger my parents taught me to be resilient and my brothers told me to be resistant, and now I think it's time for a revolution. Let's complete the power of three.'

As the third Black woman ever to be elected as an MP, and the first elected African-Caribbean woman to become a Government Minister, Dawn Butler is a true pioneer. Famously ejected from the House of Commons for calling Boris Johnson a liar, her tireless campaigning to eradicate injustice - from the NHS to the Metropolitan Police - has changed lives. Until now, she's never talked openly about what has inspired and motivated her to persevere in the face of oppression.

Drawing on lessons from her own life, Dawn shows how traditional routes to power are outdated and reveals that it's easier than we think to disrupt a broken system. From her early life to the Palace of Westminster, she shares the values, people, places and beliefs that have helped her to forge her own authentic path to power.

Now she is on a mission to give others the courage and conviction to dream big and make positive change, even when everything feels broken around us.


  • A funny, lively authorial voice. There are truths here that indisputably needed telling, and an irrepressibly bouncy confidence that inspires. An unexpectedly warm and uplifting read
    Gaby Hinsliff, The Observer

About the author

Dawn Butler

Dawn Butler is the Labour MP for Brent Central and stands up for groups and people in society that are often underrepresented. Dawn was named the "most promising feminist under 35" by New Statesman magazine and was honoured as MP of the year at the 2009 Women in Public Life Awards. In 2020 she was named one of the 25 most influential women in the UK by Vogue.
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