David Lammy hints at bid to be Labour’s first BAME leader

David Lammy has set out plans to foster a new “civic nationalism” based not on skin colour, religion or ethnicity but on shared values as he lays the ground for a possible pitch at the Labour leadership.

The Tottenham MP would become the first BAME leader of the Labour party, were he to enter and win the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn that will begin in the new year.

Writing in the Observer, Lammy suggests he will make a decision on whether to run over Christmas, having assessed who best can counter what he calls the “populist, ethnic nationalism” of Boris Johnson.

Lammy suggests a series of radical reforms, including a British bill of rights and a codified constitution, a new proportional voting system to encourage more compromise in politics, a universal basic income and a compulsory national civic service in which all young people would be compelled to take part.

Lammy, whose support is strong in London, says he regards Corbyn as a friend but is scathing about his failings, which he says were responsible for Labour’s worst general election defeat since 1935.

To date, only two candidates have announced they will stand for the leadership: the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, and shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis.

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, is preparing to announce his candidature in the new year, while Rebecca Long Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Yvette Cooper are also considering entering the race. Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, touted as a possible leadership contender, is more likely to stand instead for the role of deputy leader.

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