David Lammy says Labour must do more to ensure black men become MPs

The shadow justice secretary said the party has been ‘slow’ to realise the issue.

David Lammy
David Lammy

Labour frontbencher David Lammy has criticised the party for failing to do enough to ensure black men run for Parliament.

Mr Lammy, one of just three black men who are Labour MPs, said on Monday that the party needs to do “considerably more” to fix the problem by removing barriers to entry.

The shadow justice secretary said the party has been “slow” to realise the issue and called for some form of positive discrimination to resolve it.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, the Tottenham MP praised the use of all-women shortlists to boost their numbers running for Parliament.

“There are so many barriers to entry and when we’re talking about black men the barriers to entry are huge,” Mr Lammy told the event hosted by the New Statesman.

“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.”

Mr Lammy is the only black man in Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

“We’ve got to do more to redress the balance that promotes certain kinds of people to office but holds others back,” added Mr Lammy, who has been in Parliament since 2000.

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