David Lammy is an English politician and lawyer serving as Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs since 2021. A member of the Labour Party, he has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Tottenham since the 2000 Tottenham by-election.
Lammy was a Minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, most recently as Minister of State for Universities in the Brown ministry. He served as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice from 2020 to 2021 and has served as Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs in Keir Starmer's Shadow Cabinet since November 2021.
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 until 2003 when Sarah Teather was elected.
In 2002, he was appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Health. In 2003, Lammy was appointed by Blair as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State 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, Blair appointed Lammy as Minister for Culture at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
In June 2007, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown demoted Lammy to the rank of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. In October 2008, he was promoted by Brown to Minister of State and appointed to the Privy Council. In June 2009, Brown appointed Lammy as Minister for Higher Education in the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, leading the Commons ministerial team as Lord Mandelson was Secretary of State. He held the position until May 2010 when Labour lost the election.
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, 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".
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.
Following the party's defeat in the 2015 general election, Lammy was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn, whom he is good friends with, as a candidate in the Labour leadership election of 2015.
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% 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.
Return to the frontbench
Lammy endorsed Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner in the 2020 Labour leadership and deputy leadership elections. After Starmer was elected Labour leader in April 2020, Lammy was appointed to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice.
In the November 2021 Shadow Cabinet reshuffle, Lammy was promoted to Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.
Lammy attended the 2022 Bilderberg meeting in Washington, D.C.
In August 2022, an inquiry found that he had inadvertently breached the MPs' code of conduct. He apologised in a letter to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone.
In January 2023, Lammy visited Northern Ireland with Shadow Secretary Peter Kyle and Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jenny Chapman, visiting Foyle Port to make a statement on the Northern Ireland Protocol.