Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

20 June 2001: Lammy calls for more black MPs


House of Commons

Chosen to propose the loyal address in 2001, Labour MP David Lammy regaled MPs with humorous anecdotes about his childhood, before urging colleagues to help more black and ethnic minority people get elected to Parliament.

"I am never anonymous in the palace of Westminster," he told MPs, nearly a year to the day after his election to represent the constituents of Tottenham.

"But I look forward to a day when women and black people will not stand out on these benches and the House will truly be a House of representatives."

This extract is from Mr Lammy's speech on the day of the state opening of Parliament - when the Queen unveils details of the government's legislative plans for the year ahead.

Before MPs debate the contents of the Queen's Speech, it is traditional for two MPs to "propose a loyal address" to the Queen.

Such speeches tend to be light-hearted affairs, but Mr Lammy's comic timing had his colleagues roaring with laughter.

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