David Lammy

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For the Scottish Member of Parliament from Ayrshire, see David Lambie.
The Right Honourable
David Lammy
David Lammy.jpg
Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
In office
5 October 2008 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Bill Rammell
Succeeded by David Willetts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
In office
28 June 2007 – 5 October 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by New department
Succeeded by Siôn Simon
Baby of the House
In office
22 June 2000 – 18 September 2003
Preceded by Chris Leslie
Succeeded by Sarah Teather
Member of Parliament
for Tottenham
Assumed office
22 June 2000
Preceded by Bernie Grant
Majority 16,931 (41.6%)
Member of the London Assembly
for the Labour Party (London-wide)
In office
4 May 2000 – July 2000
Preceded by New constituency
Succeeded by Jennette Arnold
Personal details
Born David Lindon Lammy
(1972-07-19) 19 July 1972 (age 42)
Tottenham, London, England
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Nicola Green
Alma mater School of Oriental and African Studies, Harvard Law School
Religion Anglican[1]
Website www.davidlammy.co.uk

David Lindon Lammy, FRSA[2] (born 19 July 1972), is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tottenham since 2000.

Early life and education[edit]

Lammy was born in Tottenham, North London, to Guyanese parents[3] David and Rosalind Lammy[4] and brought up by his mother. Lammy advocates positive parenting and he has said fathers should be active in the lives of their children. Lammy has spoken publicly on the topic of black fatherhood in the 21st century, attempting to address issues with fatherhood, particularly in the black working class.[5]

Lammy was awarded an Inner London Education Authority choral scholarship to The King's School, Peterborough. He studied law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, obtaining a first-class degree. Lammy went onto study an LL.M. at Harvard Law School and is a member of Lincoln's Inn having been called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1994.

Political career[edit]

Early career and Government 2000 – 2010[edit]

In 2000 he was elected for Labour on the London-wide list to the London Assembly. During the London election campaign the sitting member for Tottenham, Bernie Grant, died and Lammy was selected as the Labour candidate. He was elected to the seat, on a low turnout, in a by-election held on 22 June 2000. Upon his election Lammy become the Baby of the House. In 2002 he became Parliamentary under-Secretary in the Department of Health. In 2003 Lammy was appointed as a Minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. He voted in favour of the authorization for Britain to invade Iraq in 2003. After the 2005 general election Lammy was appointed Minister for Culture at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

In June 2007 Lammy was appointed as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. In October 2008 he was promoted to Minister of State and was appointed to the Privy Council. In June 2009 the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was abolished and merged with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to form the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Lammy continued in the new department in his previous role as the Minister for Higher Education.

Backbench MP 2010– Onwards[edit]

After Labour lost the 2010 general election a Labour Party leadership contest was announced. During the contest Lammy nominated Diane Abbott, although declaring his support for David Miliband. After the election of Ed Miliband, Lammy pledged his full support for Miliband, though he turned down a post in the Shadow Cabinet offered by Miliband. Lammy asserted a need to speak on a wide range of issues that would arise in his constituency due to the "large cuts in the public services" that his constituents rely on.[6] Deciding instead to become a back-bench opposition MP. Lammy has opposed the Coalition Government's comprehensive spending review.

2012 Mayor of London[edit]

In 2010 there were suggestions that Lammy might stand for election as Mayor of London in 2012. Lammy pledged his support to Ken Livingstone's bid to become the Labour London Mayoral candidate, declaring him "London's Mayor in waiting".[7] Lammy became Livingstone's selection campaign chair.

Political comment[edit]

On election night in 2005 Lammy described George Galloway of the Respect party as a "carpetbagger" and said that he had "come down from Scotland to whip up racial tensions".[8] Galloway contested that, saying his previous constituency in Scotland had been abolished because of boundary changes and that he had the right to stand as a British MP wherever he had support.[citation needed]

On 11 August 2011, in an address to Parliament, Lammy attributed part of the cause for England's riots of a few days earlier to three destructive 'culture's that had emerged under the prevailing policies: "A Grand Theft Auto culture that glamorises violence. A consumer culture fixated on the brands we wear, not who we are and what we achieve. A gang culture with warped notions of loyalty, respect and honour."[9]

He has also suggested that corporal punishment of a kind currently illegal in the UK could have been used to prevent the riots.[10]

Lammy has commented on Britain's history of slavery.[11][12][13]

On 5 February 2013, Lammy gave a passionate speech in the House of Commons on why he would be voting in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill 2013, critically comparing the relegation of British same-sex couples to civil partnerships to the "separate but equal" legal doctrine which justified Jim Crow laws in the 20th-century United States. U.S. television host Lawrence O'Donnell praised Lammy's speech, relating it to Oscar Wilde's testimony on "the love that dare not speak its name" during his 1895 trial for sodomy and gross indecency.

On 12 March 2013, Lammy apologised for claiming the BBC made a "silly innuendo about the race of the next Pontiff".[14] David Lammy was commenting on a BBC Twitter message, which asked "will smoke be black or white?" Mr Lammy, tweeting from the Commons chamber, said the BBC message was "crass and unnecessary". He later apologised after Twitter users pointed out the role played by black and white smoke in announcing the election of a new Pope.

Personal life[edit]

Lammy married Nicola Green in 2005;[4] the couple have two sons.[15]

In November 2011, he published a book – Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots – that serves as his account on the causes and consequences of the August 2011 riots.[16]


External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
new position
Member of the London Assembly (London-wide list)
May 2000 – July 2000
Succeeded by
Jennette Arnold
Preceded by
Bernie Grant
Member of Parliament for Tottenham
Preceded by
Chris Leslie
Baby of the House
Succeeded by
Sarah Teather
Political offices
Preceded by
Estelle Morris
Minister for the Arts
Minister for Culture
Succeeded by
Margaret Hodge
Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism
Preceded by
Bill Rammell
Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Succeeded by
Position Re-allocated