Shami Chakrabarti at the Women of the Future Summit

The campaigning former lawyer and civil servant is eloquent, thoughtful and interestingly low key.

She plays, self-deprecatingly, on the perception of her being something of a grim reaper – her tendency to turn up in the public eye on heavy, serious issues.

But she has challenging observations, particularly on the press treatment of the recent lunch hosted by Sarah Brown for Carla Sarkozy. It was hosted in aid of the White Ribbon Association, which is a charity campaiging on maternal mortality. It was a charity and issue that Chakrabarti says she was unaware. (One mother per minute around the word dies in childbirth.) However, the coverage, of course, was all about hem lines and hats.

Favourite out-takes:

"A woman defence secretary would be interesting."

"I want to be everybody’s equal, but no-one’s superior."

"Be angry but don’t be a victim."

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