SOAS Law graduate David Lammy has been announced as the new shadow justice secretary in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet. Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party as of 4 April, revealed his new major reshuffle of the cabinet on Monday 6 April, with Ed Miliband as shadow business secretary, Emily Thornberry as shadow international trade secretary, and – amid the Covid-19 pandemic- Jonathon Ashworth as shadow health secretary.
Tottenham MP David Lammy has replaced Richard Burgon as Shadow Justice Secretary, and also holds the position of Shadow Lord Chancellor. A personal friend of Barack Obama, Lammy has been tipped to become Britain’s first black Prime Minister – watch this space.
Londoner Lammy studied law at SOAS and graduated in 1993, and comments that ‘SOAS gave me the backbone to sometimes be provocative and challenge.’ After his undergraduate degree, Lammy became the first black Briton to study a Masters at Harvard Law School. Lammy went viral after his Grenfell Tower campaigning in 2017 where he called for justice for the Grenfell survivors, and for those responsible for the fire to be put on trial in the Old Bailey. He’s also a staunch Remainer, having fought for a second referendum, and a leading Windrush campaigner, who has so far helped Windrush immigrants gain British citizenship and government compensation. It seems that the tendency to challenge is in his blood.
In this Covid-19 climate, these are challenging times for the new Shadow Cabinet, no doubt having to get to grips with Zoom and Teams in place of Westminster conferences. With Lammy’s track record of standing up for social issues, he’s one to watch in his new position.