It seems like a distant memory now when Keir Starmer’s last reshuffle was being lauded by SW1 commentators as a shake-up that ‘exuded confidence’ and brought back ‘big beasts’. David Lammy has been working especially hard to undermine Starmer’s intended image of a top team with an eye on winning power. This weekend was no different…
On Times Radio David Lammy told Lucy Fisher that he doesn’t support these strikes:
“I don’t support strikes… It hurts working people… This is not a moment for posturing, standing on picket lines”
Which, regardless of backbenchers breaking Starmer’s no-striking edict, at the very least flies in the face of deputy leader Angela Rayner’s comments that the workers have been “left with no choice”.
Lammy’s comments on the rail strikes weren’t the only words out of his mouth yesterday to outrage unions. He also categorically opposed floated strikes by BA workers, leading to condemnation by Unite’s Sharon Graham who accused Labour of a “direct attack” on workers. There’s just one problem with this – it appears Lammy’s approach to strikes has changed someone since as recently as 2018…
This hard-line attitude from Lammy earned him a damning tweet from his own constituency Labour Party, which wrote “disappointed that our MP won’t stand side by side with his constituents on a picket line”
Disappointed that our MP won’t stand side by side with his constituents on a picket line. A serious MP joins the fight for the working class because that’s their role, to fight for the rights of their residents. #RMT #Strikes https://t.co/8PcwYIa6VL— Tottenham Labour Party (@LabourTottenham) June 26, 2022
The revolution will eat its children, David…
After covering Wes Streeting’s second job hypocrisy on Monday, and Rachel Reeves’s yesterday, Guido wasn’t going to bother covering David Lammy’s turn to stand in for James O’Brien on LBC, given he’s already covered the shadow foreign secretary’s second earnings hypocrisy in detail previously. Unlike his fellow shadow cabinet stand-ins, however, it was the content of Lammy’s show that caught Guido’s attention. One caller – Laura, a teacher from Kettering – bravely called in to articulate her view that Rishi and Boris haven’t done anything wrong:
“Lammy: I hope you tell your pupils to follow the rules, and I hope you’ll understand that the police – not me, the police – have found Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak guilty, the police have issued the 50 fixed penalty notices.
Laura: And do you know why the police probably would have done that? Because of all the pressure put on them! If you look at this logically….
Lammy: Oh! Laura! Laura! Laura! Let’s be clear on this! The police didn’t want to investigate! The police were dragged to investigate this because of the work of The Mirror! And the wonderful work of the journalist Pippa Crerar! They didn’t want to investigate this!
Lammy: Laura, Laura, you’re a teacher in a secondary school, do you know what’s going on in your class?
Laura: Of course I do
Lammy: Of course you do. Do you know what’s going on in your home?
Laura: Of course I do
Lammy: Then why do you think Boris Johnson doesn’t know what’s going on in his?!
Laura: Because… I truly believe when…
Lammy: Laura, what do you teach in our secondary schools because this is perplexing this morning…
Laura: I’m not going to obviously tell you what I teach but you asked me a question whether I believe Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson should resign and I think they shouldn’t.
Lammy: Laura thank you for your views but I’m jolly pleased you don’t teach my kids I’ve got to tell you!”
A few minutes later another caller, an NHS worker Joanna, was so incensed by Lammy’s treatment of Laura she called in to accuse him of bullying her
“Hello, first of all I just want to say I thought you were really rude to the teacher who spoke to you some minutes ago, I though it was extremely rude to say you wouldn’t want her to teach your children that is really unacceptable.”
“I worked in a hospital, in intensive care, we would come out several hours after being in full PPE, like being in a space suite… if it happened to be any of my colleague’s birthday and there happened to be some biscuits and some diet coke to share during our break, I mean would that be called a party? Or a rave? Or what?”
10 minutes later, Lammy doubled down further by suggesting Laura may have been lying about being a teacher in the first place
Guido preferred pre-Brexit Lammy, who tweeted “Britain’s teachers deserve much more gratitude and respect.” What changed?