LUNCH WITH THE FT: UK politician David Lammy: We’ve got to stop looking backwards for solutions
Lammy is an unforgiving critic of Jeremy Corbyn, not least due to his failure to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour party, but he may be on the brink of a return
“Don’t take this personally,” says David Lammy, grasping my arm and laughing gustily to reassure me. “But I find that a slightly odd question.” It is the only moment when the Labour MP and self-confessed “Remainiac” appears to be irritated, which perhaps explains the extra display of affability.
The “slightly odd” question is whether he has become an angrier politician. I have tiptoed into it, aware that it risks seeming insensitive — but, given his record over the past three years, it feels an unavoidable inquiry. Since the 2016 EU referendum, Lammy, a moderate, Harvard-educated barrister once tipped to be Britain’s first black prime minister, has been transformed by events into an unrelenting campaigner. He has been implacable in his assault on Brexiters, even likening cheerleaders of the cause in the European Research Group to Nazis. Two days after the vote, he tweeted: “Wake up. We do not have to do this.”