David Lammy ‘almost burst into tears’ during Enough is Enough rally
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David Lammy ‘almost burst into tears’ during Enough is Enough rally

Tottenham MP became emotional while protesting against Labour's anti-Semitism problems, for fear the party had 'lost' the community's support

David Lammy (third from the left) alongside members of the Stamford Hill Jewish community he represents, during Monday's #EnoughIsEnough demo
David Lammy (third from the left) alongside members of the Stamford Hill Jewish community he represents, during Monday's #EnoughIsEnough demo

A senior Labour MP has he said he “almost burst into tears” at a protest against anti-Semitism and now feels Labour has “lost” the Jewish community, which was in a state of “deep trauma”.

In an interview with Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alistair Campbell for GQ magazine, David Lammy MP, whose constituency includes Stamford Hill, said the resurgence in anti-Semitism on the hard-left “is back because extremism is back.”

In a wide-ranging discussion, he said: “There is a tradition that exists in parts of the hard-left that is deeply, deeply anti-Semitic in attitude and background.”

As a black man, he said he understood stereotypes, “where people look at you and assume you’re lazy, that you’re thick, that you’re a womaniser out to steal their wife. All of these stereotypes I have lived with all of my life”.

He added: “In the same way, there are a group of people who assume that when you are Jewish you are part of a wider conspiracy.”

Campbell said most Jewish people would acknowledge that “it’s got a lot better since the war,” asking: “Why has it come back?”

Lammy explained: “It has come back because extremism has come back. Anti-Semitic tendencies exist largely on the hard-right and on the hard-left of the political spectrum, that’s just what history tells us.”

The Tottenham MP dodged Campbell’s question about whether the Labour leadership had “tolerated and fostered” anti-Semitism.

However, he said: “There are moments in politics that require leadership, indicating a change of mind, a genuine sorry and then a series of actions, and some of those actions are frankly – and it’s brutal – turning on people who may have been friends.”

He clarified that former London mayor Ken Livingstone “should have been out months and months and months ago,” adding: “We have lost a community that I think will not be coming back any time soon.”

He said there is “deep trauma in Jewish communities in relation to what’s happening,” and said the Stamford Hill community was comprised of natural Labour voters. “These people vote for me. It’s a very poor community, who need a good Labour government, but the board has run away from us, and it will take serious, serious leadership.”

Addressing those who called for Lammy’s deselection for attending the protest against anti-Semitism in London, he said he would “never” stop standing for minorities, adding that both Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King themselves relied on Jewish support.

Watch the full interview here:

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