David Lammy | Source: www.davidlammy.co.uk

Meet Guyanese Man Who Became UK Foreign Secretary

The Guyanese community has produced the latest foreign secretary of the United Kindom, David Lindon Lammy.

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David Lammy is the new foreign secretary of the United Kingdom. After a landslide victory that ended the Conservative Party’s 14-year rule of the UK, the new Prime Minister, Labour Party’s Keil Starmer, appointed Lammy as the new foreign secretary on July 6.

Education For A Growing Guyanese 

At 51, David Lammy has risen from humble beginnings in working-class London and the UK government to become Britain’s chief diplomat. He is also the first Foreign Secretary descended from enslaved people, a fact that he finds deeply moving.

Born to Guyanese immigrants, David and Rosalind Lammy, Lammy was raised with deep values of Christian education. His mum singlehandedly raised him from age 12 alongside four other siblings after their father abandoned them.

After studying law at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, he became the first Black Briton to study at Harvard Law School, where he earned a Master of Laws degree. This experience fostered deep ties with the United States and the Democratic Party beginning with the ex-US president, Barrack Obama, who he met in 2004 at a Black Harvard Alumni gathering.

Politics And Activism From Tottenham 

His political career began in 2000 when he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Tottenham in a by-election after Bernie Grant’s demise. Lammy served in various junior ministerial positions: as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health under Prime Minister Tony Blair and Minister of State for Culture under Gordon Brown between 2002 and 2010. 

After a period on the backbenches, he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor in 2020, before being promoted to Shadow Foreign Secretary in 2021.

Throughout his career, Lammy has been a leading voice on social activism, diversity, and multiculturalism. He has tackled significant issues such as the treatment of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System, advocated for Windrush British Citizens, and fought for justice for families affected by the Grenfell Fire. 

In 2020, he delivered a TED talk emphasizing the interconnection between climate change and racial and social justice. Also, he hosted LBC (Leading Britain’s Conversations) Radio Show on Sundays from 2022 to April 2024.

Lammy As Foreign Secretary 

As Foreign Secretary, Lammy faces significant challenges. In his first trip to Poland, he aims to strengthen ties with Europe.  He has expressed a focus on rebuilding ties with the European Union and prioritizing support for Ukraine. 

The Labour Party, under his foreign policy leadership, has committed to NATO and pledged to increase military spending. On the conflict in Gaza, the party advocates for an immediate ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages.

Lammy’s connections to the United States, including his relationship with former President Barack Obama and his network within the Democratic Party, may prove valuable in his new role. His unique background and experiences position him to bring a fresh perspective to British foreign policy at a critical time in global affairs.

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