Lammy in 2019
|Shadow Secretary of State for Justice|
Shadow Lord Chancellor
|Assumed office |
6 April 2020
|Leader||Sir Keir Starmer|
|Preceded by||Richard Burgon|
|Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills|
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Bill Rammell|
|Succeeded by||David Willetts (Universities and Science)|
|Minister of State for Culture|
5 May 2005 – 28 June 2007
|Prime Minister||Tony Blair|
|Preceded by||Estelle Morris (Arts)|
|Succeeded by||Margaret Hodge (Culture and Tourism)|
|Member of Parliament |
|Assumed office |
22 June 2000
|Preceded by||Bernie Grant|
|Member of the London Assembly as the 8th Additional Member|
4 May 2000 – 4 July 2000
|Preceded by||Constituency created|
|Succeeded by||Jennette Arnold|
David Lindon Lammy
19 July 1972
Holloway, London, England
|Alma mater||School of Oriental and African Studies|
Harvard Law School
David Lindon Lammy  (born 19 July 1972) is a British Labour Party politician serving as Member of Parliament (MP) for Tottenham since 2000, and has served as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor in Keir Starmer's Shadow Cabinet since 2020.
Early life and education
Lammy was born on 19 July 1972 in Whittington Hospital in Archway, North London, to Guyanese parents David and Rosalind Lammy. He and his four siblings were raised solely by his mother, after his father left the family when Lammy was 12 years old. Lammy speaks publicly about the importance of fathers and the need to support them in seeking to be active in the lives of their children. He chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood and has written on the issue.
Lammy grew up in Tottenham. Having attended a local primary school, at the age of 10 he was awarded an Inner London Education Authority choral scholarship to sing at Peterborough Cathedral and attend The King's School, Peterborough. He studied at the School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, graduating with a 2:1. Lammy went on to study at Harvard University where he became the first black Briton to attend Harvard Law School; there he studied a Master of Laws degree and graduated in 1997. He was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1994 at Lincoln's Inn and practised as a barrister. He practised as an attorney at Howard Rice in California between 1997–1998; and with D.J. Freeman 1998–2000. He is currently a visiting lecturer at SOAS.
In 2000 he was elected for Labour on the London-wide list to the London Assembly. During the London election campaign Lammy was selected as the Labour candidate for Tottenham when Bernie Grant died. He was elected to the seat in a by-election held on 22 June 2000. Aged 27, he was the youngest Member of Parliament (MP) in the house (Baby of the House) and remained so until 2003 when Sarah Teather was elected.
In 2002, he became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health. In 2003, Lammy was appointed as a Minister in the Department for Constitutional Affairs and while a member of the Government, he voted in favour of authorisation 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 until June 2010 when Labour lost the election, he became Minister for Higher Education in the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
After Labour lost the 2010 general election a Labour Party leadership contest was announced. During the contest Lammy nominated Diane Abbott, saying that he felt it was important to have a diverse field of candidates,[failed verification] but nonetheless declared his support for David Miliband. After the election of Ed Miliband, Lammy pledged his full support but turned down a post in the Shadow Cabinet, asserting 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".[failed verification]
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". Lammy became Livingstone's selection campaign chair. In 2014, Lammy announced that he was considering entering the race to become Mayor of London in the 2016 election.
London mayoral candidate
On 4 September 2014, Lammy announced his intention to seek the Labour nomination for the 2016 mayoral election. In the London Labour Party's selection process, he secured 9.4 per cent of first preference votes and was fourth overall, behind Sadiq Khan, Tessa Jowell, and Diane Abbott.
In March 2016, he was fined £5,000 for instigating 35,629 automatic phone calls urging people to back his mayoral campaign without gaining permission to contact the party members concerned. Lammy apologised "unreservedly" for breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. It was the first time a politician had been fined for authorising nuisance calls.
Lammy has over the years publicly attributed blame for certain crimes to various specific causes and persons. He has also talked about black and ethnic minority peoples, especially those who are younger, their relation with crime and how they are treated by the criminal justice system.
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 destructive 'cultures' that had emerged under the prevailing policies. He also stated that legislation restricting the degree of violence which parents are allowed to use when disciplining their children was partly to blame for current youth culture, that had contributed to the riots.
Lammy has blamed the Prime Minister and Home Secretary for failing to take responsibility over fatal stabbings in London;[failed verification] he also blames inequality, high youth unemployment among black males, and local authorities cutting youth services and outreach programmes.
Lammy has stated that the criminal justice system deals with "disproportionate numbers" of young people from black and ethnic minority communities: despite saying that although decisions to charge were "broadly proportionate", he has asserted that black and ethnic minority people still face and perceive bias. Lammy said that young black people are nine times more likely to be incarcerated than "comparable" white people, and proposed a number of measures including a system of "deferred prosecution" for young first time offenders to reduce incarcerations. Lammy has claimed that black and ethnic minority people offend "at the same rates" as comparable white people "when taking age and socioeconomic status into account"; they were more likely to be stopped and searched, if charged more likely to be convicted, more likely to be sent to prison and less likely to get support in prison.
Issues of race, prejudice & equality
He has criticised the University of Oxford for admitting relatively few black students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. He also believes the Windrush scandal concerns injustice to a generation who are British, have made their homes and worked in Britain and deserve to be treated better.
On 5 February 2013, Lammy gave a 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.
He has spoken out against alleged antisemitism within the Labour Party and attended an Enough is Enough rally protesting against it. Lammy stated that antisemitism has "come back because extremism has come back" and is damaging support for Labour among Britain's Jewish community. He is a member of Labour Friends of Israel.
Lammy recorded the Channel 4 documentary for Remembrance Sunday called The Unremembered: Britain's Forgotten War Heroes which was broadcast on 10 November 2019. In it he reveals how 100,000 or more Africans who died in their own continent serving Britain during WWI were denied the honour of an individual grave, despite the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's reputation for equality.
Lammy described the Grenfell Tower fire as "corporate manslaughter" and called for arrests to be made; his friend Khadija Saye died in the fire. He also criticised the authorities for failing to say how many people had died.
He has written about what he believes to be the shortcomings of the housing market.
Lammy is a staunch advocate of British membership of the European Union. On 23 June 2018, Lammy appeared at the People's Vote march in London to mark the second anniversary of the referendum to leave the European Union. The People's Vote is a campaign group calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between the UK and the European Union.
He supports shared parental leave which he maintains would "normalise" fathers being an equal caregiver with the mother, and would mean they become more involved in the raising of children, arguing that the barriers to "fathers playing a deeper role in family life" are not just legislative, but also cultural. He points out Scandinavian countries such as Sweden as examples of where governments have successfully made this happen, which he states has also helped increase gender equality.
Comments attracting criticism
In 2013, Lammy accused the BBC of making a "silly innuendo about the race" on Twitter during the announcement of the next Pontiff where the BBC tweeted "will smoke be black or white?" in reference to smoke above the Sistine Chapel. Lammy criticised the BBC's tweet as "crass and unnecessary.” He subsequently apologised after other Twitter users pointed out the role played by black and white smoke in announcing the election of a new Pope.
In January 2016 Lammy claimed that one million Indians sacrificed their lives during the Second World War, not for the survival of Britain and to fight Nazism, but instead for the "European Project."; the statement was strongly criticised and ridiculed by The Spectator.
In January 2019 Lammy described Rod Liddle having a column in a weekly newspaper as a "national disgrace" and accused Liddle of having “white middle class privilege” for expressing the view that absent fathers played a role in violent crime involving black youths. Writing in an article for The Spectator, Liddle disputed Lammy's claim that he was raised in a family reliant on tax credits, which were not introduced in the United Kingdom until Lammy was aged 31.
In February 2019 Lammy criticised Stacey Dooley for photographs she posted on social media of her trip to Uganda for Comic Relief, and said that "the world does not need any more white saviours", and that she was "perpetuating 'tired and unhelpful stereotypes' about Africa". He also stated however, that he does not question her "good motives". The donations received for the Red Nose Day broadcast in March 2019 fell by £8 million and the money raised that year was the lowest since 2007, which some have blamed on Lammy's remarks. Critics of his view included Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Conservative Party MP Chris Philp. Lammy responded to criticism with a statement in which he referred to the decline in donations being due to contributing factors of austerity, declining viewing figures, trends in the charity sector and format fatigue and that he hoped his comments "would inspire the charity to refresh its image and think harder about the effects its output has on our perceptions of Africa".
Lammy sparked further controversy when he likened opposing the policies of the European Research Group to opposition to the Nazi Party during the Second World War and South African apartheid while speaking at an anti-Brexit rally. When asked by broadcaster Andrew Marr in April 2019 if he stood by the comments, Lammy responded by claiming the comparisons "didn’t go far enough," and proceeded to compare politicians Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg to Nazis, referencing Johnson's alleged contact with Steve Bannon, before adding, "I don't care how elected they were, so were the far right in Germany." Conservative Party MP Conor Burns criticised the comments by saying "I used to have regard for David Lammy. But this is batshit. Comparing ERG to Hitler is quite something. Fully lost it." Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard also described Lammy's comments as "shockingly inappropriate."
The politician also attracted criticism for arguing that the Grenfell Tower fire was solely "a failure on social housing, a failure to protect poor people in state housing". Speaking to Channel 4 News on the publication of the Phase 1 report of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in October 2019, Lammy said that "in a fancy penthouse in Chelsea, this would not have happened". LGA building safety spokesman Lord Porter said that the same fire hazards apply to all high-rise residential buildings, regardless of who lives in them, and that Lammy was unhelpfully politicising the issue by emphasising class.
Lammy married the artist Nicola Green in 2005; the couple have two sons and a daughter. Lammy is a Christian. He is also a Tottenham Hotspur F.C. fan. He states that his identity is "British, English, ... a Londoner ... [but] also European".
- "List of members' Interests, Cabinet Office, March 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Kentish, Benjamin (23 April 2018). "David Lammy MP reveals racist abuse after speaking out on Windrush scandal: 'Be grateful we have taken you in as a black man'". The Independent. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- "Rt Hon David Lammy MP Member of Parliament for Tottenham". Davidlammy.co.uk. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "Lammy, Rt Hon. David (Lindon), (born 19 July 1972), PC 2008; MP (Lab) Tottenham, since June 2000". Who's Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.23693.
- Lammy, David (29 July 2015). "Bringing young fathers into the fold: policy challenges and developments". Families, Relationships and Societies. Bristol University Press. 4 (2): 315–317. doi:10.1332/204674315x14351562563421. ISSN 2046-7435.
- Lammy, David (15 June 2013). "It should always be father's day". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Lammy, David (14 June 2014). "A dad is for life, not just Father's Day". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Lammy, David (31 January 2014). "We all need more help to become a better man". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Lammy, David, 'Out of the Ashes'
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- Elizabeth Pears (11 October 2010). "Lammy rejects offer from Labour Party leader Ed Miliband". Haringey Independent. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- "David Lammy drops out of mayoral race... and backs Ken Livingstone". Archived from the original on 5 June 2010.
- "David Lammy hopes to stand for mayor". 4 September 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
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- "David Lammy to go for Mayor - London Live". archive.is. 4 September 2014. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014.
- "Khan wins Labour London mayor race". BBC News. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
- "MP David Lammy apologises over nuisance calls". BBC News. 10 March 2016.
- Syal, Rajeev (10 March 2016). "David Lammy fined over mayoral bid nuisance calls". The Guardian.
- "Tottenham MP David Lammy condemns 'Grand Theft Auto culture'". 27 January 2018. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011.
- "Labour MP partly blames anti-smacking law for UK riots". The Guardian. London. 29 January 2012.
- Aitkenhead, Decca (6 April 2018). "David Lammy: 'Kids are getting killed. Where is the prime minister? Where is Sadiq Khan?'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- Khomami, Nadia; Gayle, Damien (5 April 2018). "Ministers failing to act over soaring murder rate, says Lammy". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- BAME offenders: Bias 'needs to be tackled' BBC
- Exposed: ‘racial bias’ in British criminal justice system The Guardian
- David Lammy's review bursts the myth of a link between race and crime New Statesman
- "Culture Minister David Lammy's Keynote Speech to 'Slavery: Unfinished Business' Conference". Archived from the original on 6 May 2008.
- "BBC News: Head-to-head: Slavery 'sorrow'". 27 November 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
- "London's slave trade". Time Out. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Oxford accused of 'social apartheid' as colleges admit no black students The Guardian
- Don’t let Rudd’s departure distract from a toxic policy that needs to die The Guardian
- Rudolph, Christopher (8 February 2013). "Lawrence O'Donnell's 'Last Word' on Gay Marriage in the U.K." The Advocate. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "David Lammy 'almost burst into tears' during Enough is Enough rally". 1 June 2018.
- "LFI Supporters in Parliament". Labour Friends of Israel. Retrieved 8 September 2019.
- Ramaswamy, Chitra (10 November 2019). "The Unremembered: Britain's Forgotten War Heroes review – David Lammy condemns a shameful history". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- Morley, Nicole (15 June 2017). "Grenfell Tower fire is 'corporate manslaughter' and arrests should be made, says MP David Lammy". Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
- Lammy, David (15 July 2017). "This was a monstrous crime – there must be arrests after Grenfell Tower". The Guardian. Comment is free.
- Sommers, Jack (16 June 2017). "David Lammy fights back tears describing Khadija Saye, who died in Grenfell Tower fire". HuffPost. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- Lammy, David (26 December 2017). "Those responsible for the horror of the Grenfell Tower fire must face trial | David Lammy". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- Graham-Harrison, Emma (1 July 2017). "Mistrust and anger deepen as Grenfell death toll is still unknown". The Guardian.
- We’re in a new era of slum landlords and tenant squalor The Guardian
- "'At least 100,000' march for vote on final Brexit deal". Sky News. 23 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- Lammy, David (29 April 2017). "David Lammy: Labour must champion the father's position in the family and the mother's position in the workplace". LabourList. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- "MP retracts BBC Pope race slur claim". BBC News. 13 March 2013 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Labour MP embarrassed after claiming that 'white or black' smoke tweet about the Pope is about race". 13 April 2013.
- "The 'in' side's shockingly bad start in the EU referendum campaign". The Spectator. 30 January 2016.
- Silvera, Ian (26 January 2016). "EU referendum: Labour MP David Lammy claims Indian soldiers in WW2 died for \'European project\'". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- Lammy, David [@davidlammy] (13 January 2019). "Rod Liddle having a column in one of Britain's foremost weekly newspapers is a national disgrace, as well as the walking, living, breathing personification and definition of white middle class privilege" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 May 2020 – via Twitter.
- "On Nobel Prize winners and Mastermind losers". The Spectator. 19 January 2019.
- "Stacey Dooley hits back at MP Lammy's Comic Relief 'white saviour' criticism". BBC. 28 February 2019.
- Badshah, Nadeem (28 February 2019). "'White saviour' row: David Lammy denies snubbing Comic Relief". The Guardian.
- Simons, Ned (1 March 2019). "Emails Show Comic Relief Is 'Lying' About MP David Lammy, Says Former Adviser". HuffPost. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- Hellen, Nicholas (17 March 2019). "Comic Relief down £8m after David Lammy 'white saviour' row". The Sunday Times.
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- "David Lammy says comparing ERG to Nazis 'not strong enough'". 14 April 2019.
- Cowburn, Ashley (14 April 2019). "Labour MP David Lammy says his comparison of Tory Brexiteers to Nazis 'wasn't strong enough'". The Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- "Labour MP David Lammy compares Tory Party's hard Brexiters to Nazis". 14 April 2019.
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- Curtis, Polly (18 November 2008). "High expectations". The Guardian.
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- Thornton, Ed (8 April 2020). "David Lammy: 'My faith has been with me my whole life and it's never left'". The Church Times. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
- "Labour MP relishes Spurs' win". ESPN. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- Cruddas, Jon; Rutherford Jonathan (10 December 2011). "David Lammy's lesson". New Statesman. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
David Lammy's book Out of the Ashes: Britain After the Riots [...] is about more than the English riots, it's about the future of Labour in the country.
- Mills, Kelly-Ann (25 October 2019). "Raheem Sterling joins Meghan and Stormzy in top 100 most influential black Brits". mirror. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Lammy.|
- Official website
- Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard
- Contributions in Parliament at Hansard 1803–2005
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- David Lammy MP - Westminster Parliamentary Research
- David Lammy on Twitter
- David Lammy on LBC
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Tottenham
| Baby of the House
as Minister of State for the Arts
| Minister of State for Culture
as Minister of State for Culture and Tourism
| Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills
as Minister of State for Universities and Science
| Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
| Shadow Lord Chancellor|