David Lammy says Labour must do more to remove barriers black men face in politics

The Shadow Justice Secretary is the only black man in Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet

David Lammy believes the Labour party has been “too slow” to recognise the barriers black men face in attempting to run for Parliament.

The Labour MP for Tottenham said positive discrimination may be needed to stop black men being held back.

Speaking at a Labour Conference fringe event in Brighton, Mr Lammy said: “There are so many barriers to entry and when we’re talking about black men the barriers to entry are huge.

“And the party has been slow to pick that up and understand that and we need to do considerably more.

“I do think we have to do a serious analysis about those barriers and removing those barriers as that does mean a degree of positive discrimination if you are to bring people forward.”

David Lammy said Labour must do more to remove the barriers black men face in politics


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Mr Lammy is one of three black male Labour MPs and is the only black man in Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

The Shadow Justice Secretary has previously expressed how anxious he was when joining Parliament because of his race.

He previously said: “I was very conscious that I was never anonymous in the Palace of Westminster.

“I felt very self-conscious, I think.”

It comes after internal rows over equalities with Sir Keir Starmer saying Rosie Duffield was wrong to say “only women have a cervix”.

Asked about the row, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said: “I just think that this issue has just become so divisive and toxic, and it pits people against each other – both groups who have faced discrimination in society – women and trans women.

“I just find this debate incredibly unhelpful and unproductive, to be totally honest.”

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