David Lammy schools caller who tells him he's 'not English'

29 March 2021, 12:31 | Updated: 30 March 2021, 09:38

By Fiona Jones

This is the moment someone called LBC to tell David Lammy he is "not English" because he isn't white.

Caller Jean made this remark while David was discussing Boris Johnson's racial disparity commission's calls to scrap the term 'BAME'.

She told David: "You will never be English because you're African-Caribbean...I can't say I'm African-Caribbean."

David countered: "Britain 400 years ago started going out into the world, colonised and conquered a lot of the world, a lot of the world has ended up coming back to the mother country...when I took a DNA test I had Scottish in me.

"Here I am, having grown up in this country, born of this country, and actually the truth is there's a myth there's one English ethnicity, there's not.

"England has always been a country where Huguenots, Danes, all sorts have passed through...for me, the fact that I was born here and the fact that my sensibilities are English mean I want to claim that heritage as well."

Jean decided that David is "British but not English", to which he politely disagreed.

She continued that if she was born in the Caribbean she would not call herself as such, to which David pointed out: "You probably don't realise but in countries like Barbados there are significant white Caribbean populations who have been there for hundreds of years.

"They are significantly more Caribbean than I am."

Jean said world movement is "pollution", insisting "you are your inheritance."

David responded: "People meet one another, they fall in love, they have kids, they move borders - sometimes through war, sometimes through economic reasons - and they become what they become when they are of that country.

"Just as you can be in America and be African-American, or you can be Italian-American, or you can be Irish-American, how is it that here in England, you can only claim that Englishness if you are white?"