David Lammy is the first Black MP to hold the Justice post in British Parliament, either in government or opposition.

Why you should listen

David Lammy is the Labour Member of Parliament for Tottenham, England, where he was born and raised. After being elected for the seventh time in December 2019, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. As part of this role, Lammy built on his landmark review of the criminal justice system, which explored the treatment of and outcomes for Black and minority ethnic people in British courts and prisons. The review included 35 wide-ranging policy recommendations for the government and criminal justice sectors. Lammy previously served under the Blair and Brown Labour governments from 2002 to 2010 as Culture Minister and Higher Education Minister and was appointed to the Privy Council in 2008.

Lammy's parents arrived in the UK from Guyana as part of the over half a million people who moved from the Caribbean to Britain in the 1970s, known as the Windrush generation. He is renowned for his role in securing justice for the victims of the Windrush Scandal as well as victims of London's Grenfell Tower Fire, winning both GQ's and the Political Studies Association's Politician of the Year in 2018. He is also known for spearheading the fight against Brexit, pushing for more equal access to university and demanding the decolonization of education curriculums and international aid. Lammy explores these issues and more in Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society, his book on both the benign and malign effects of our very human need to belong.

David Lammy’s TED talk

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