Lammy tells Langdon of his debt to Jewish backers


Tottenham MP David Lammy has told Langdon supporters of his debt to the Jewish community.

Addressing 200 supporters at a business breakfast at the Park Lane Hotel, Mr Lammy recalled that a group of Jewish lawyers had funded his $40,000 (£26,000) entry into Harvard Law School. He also spoke of his long-time association with Lord Sugar.

"As someone born in the 1970s, raised by a single mother in a tough part of London, I'm here because people gathered round my family to support me and make things happen, none more so than the Jewish community," Mr Lammy said.

He went on to reveal that when his father was struggling to keep his taxidermy business afloat, "a very young Jewish man turned up who wanted to make electric boards and circuits and hired out the back of my dad's factory in White Hart Lane.

"That man was the first to support me when I announced I wanted to run to be Labour's Mayor of London. It was Alan Sugar."

As for his law school entry, Harvard had told him: "'You're going to be the first black Brit to come, we really want you to come, but it's going to cost you $40,000.' I didn't have the money and I'm very grateful to a group of Jewish lawyers who got together and got the money for me to go. That is why I am here. Because you reach out and you help others."

As the father of a child with learning difficulties, Mr Lammy well appreciated the work of Langdon, which provides educational and employment support to young adults with learning needs. His Tottenham constituency is home to one in seven British Charedim.

The appeal video featured Simon Houlton, a Langdon client helped into paid administrative work. He told breakfasters: "I love working, and it's only because of Langdon that I can. Please dig deep."

Langdon also presented its Employer of the Year award to Simon Lester, of Lester Hotels, saying that his programme was "a benefit for the employer as much as the employees".

Another MP, Ivan Lewis, was also among guests at the breakfast, which raised £60,000.

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