David Lammy has joined The Big Issue as a Brand Ambassador. In his new role, the Shadow Justice Secretary and Labour MP for Tottenham has pledged to campaign against evictions and in favour of an ambitious reskilling programme to help us ride out the recession and avoid the Covid crisis being followed by a homelessness epidemic.
Instead, he says, we need to be bold, build back better, and use the power of the state to put a net around people to stop them falling into poverty and homelessness.Lammy joins Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, Christopher Eccleston, Sophia Winkleman, Daniel Mays and George Clarke in raising awareness about homelessness and The Big Issue’s mission. The Big Issue’s Adrian Lobb welcomes him aboard. Lockdowns have taken income away from hundreds of Big Issue sellers. Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription.
The Big Issue: Why do you want to be a Big Issue Ambassador?
David Lammy: I have been the member of Parliament for Tottenham for 20 years. Sadly, in Tottenham and in Haringey we have among the highest homelessness levels in London and it is a growing problem. Also, on a personal level, my father struggled with alcoholism and was homeless for periods of his life. So for all those reasons, I’m very pleased to attach my name to The Big Issue, which is a publication I’ve written in and bought over many years.
Could homelessness be the next potential crisis?
I think there’s an inevitability to that. As things get desperate in families’ lives, the pressures of being locked down, the stresses that places on relationships, the rhetoric we’re seeing around difference, and inequality – all of this stuff drives people out of their homes and on to the streets. If you haven’t got the welfare state working in a way that supports people, it exacerbates that problem. So I’m afraid this could be the next big crisis as we come out of this Covid-19 nightmare.