Lauren Booth

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Lauren Booth
Born Sarah Jane Booth
(1967-07-22) 22 July 1967 (age 47)
Islington, London, England
Other names Sarah Booth[1]
Occupation Journalist, Broadcaster and Public Speaker
  • Craig Darby (2000-2010)
Children Alexandra Darby, Holly Darby
Relatives Tony Booth (father)
Pamela Smith (mother)
Cherie Blair (half-sister)

Lauren Booth (born Sarah Jane Booth 22 July 1967, Islington, London) is an English broadcaster, journalist and pro-Palestinian activist.[2] She currently works as a freelance writer and Media Consultant. In 2012 she co-founded the UK charity Peace Trail.[3]


Booth was born and grew up in North London. She trained as an actress at the London Academy of Performing Arts spending several years touring Europe with various, regional, theatre companies. In 1997, she entered journalism. During her time as a writer with the Mail on Sunday, she was sent to report on the 2005 Palestinian elections.[4] In 2010, Booth converted to Islam.[5]


Booth is a half-sister of Cherie Blair (wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair) and the sixth daughter of the actor Tony Booth. She married actor Craig Darby in 2000 and the couple have two children, Alexandra and Holly. Booth and Darby divorced in 2010. She underwent a religious ceremony of marriage, unrecognised by the UK or European Union, to Sohale Ahmed in 2013.

Journalistic career[edit]

Her earliest writing experiences were with the London Evening Standard, writing the column ‘About Town’. In 1999, she began to write for the political magazine, the New Statesman, where she remained for four years. At the same time, she began writing columns and features for the Mail on Sunday as a columnist.[6] Booth was a writer for the New Statesman[7] and the Mail on Sunday.[8] She was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War giving speeches at many rallies against the invasion. Her speeches against the Israeli Occupation of Palestine have seen her labelled a 'controversial' figure. She is an outspoken activist and a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition.[9]

Between 2006 and 2008 Booth presented In Focus on the UK's Islam Channel.[6] She has had a long association with the Iranian owned Press TV, starting with Between The Headlines in 2008.[6] Between 2010 and 2012 she presented Remember Palestine[10] and Diaspora.[6]

In June 2011, Booth joined Cageprisoners as a patron.[11] She currently works as a freelance writer and Media Consultant.

Reality TV[edit]

In 2006, she was a contestant on the ITV reality show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, donating the money she raised to charity Interpal (Palestinian Relief and Development Fund).[12]

Gaza activism[edit]

In August 2008 she traveled to Gaza by ship from Cyprus, along with 46 other activists,[13] to highlight the blockade of the Gaza Strip and deliver hearing aids and balloons to a deaf school in Gaza. Booth was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt. She said that by refusing her the right to leave Gaza and return to her home country, Israel was in breach of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, specifically regarding freedom of movement.[14] Booth stated that Gaza is "the largest concentration camp in the world today", although the Jerusalem Post suggested that several photographs of Booth in a well-stocked Gaza grocery "bel[ied] the grim picture she painted of the Strip".[15] During her visit, Booth received a Palestinian VIP passport from Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya.[16] Booth left Gaza through the Rafah Border Crossing into Egypt on 20 September 2008. In 2009 Booth returned to Gaza with the Aid convoy Viva Palestina, set up by the UK Politician George Galloway. Since 2012 she has returned on several occasions as the Chair of Trustees with the charity she co-founded delivering assistance to students and families in the region.

Religious conversion[edit]

Booth appeared at the Islam Channel's Global Peace and Unity event on 23 October 2010, dressed in loose clothing and with a hijab, declaring: "My name is Lauren Booth, and I am a Muslim".


External links[edit]