Public Affairs: Lobbying target - David Lammy, minister of state for higher education

The MP for Tottenham has good links with Barack Obama and is seen as Labour's most web-savvy campaigner

- Ten-second biography

Lammy worked as a lawyer and member of the Greater London Assembly before entering the Commons in 2000. He got his first government post in 2002 and was promoted up in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in this month's reshuffle.

- What is his background?

Born in Tottenham, north London, to first-generation Guyanese immigrants, Lammy studied law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, was called to the Bar, then worked in the US. In 1997, he became the first black Briton to study a Masters in Law at Harvard.

- Where does he sit politically?

He rarely rebels against the Government on the big issues, but Lammy is open to new ideas and is not afraid to speak boldly about the party's future. According to a recent Guardian blog, he is 'hard to pigeonhole in conventional left/right terms'.

- Why he is someone to watch

Lammy has been viewed as a 'rising star' for some years, but his links to Obama (their friendship predates Obama's run for the presidency) make him arguably Britain's best-connected politician. He has also seen first-hand how the Obama campaign has harnessed the power of the internet.

- Tell me something I didn't know

Former Cabinet Office minister Barbara Roche is reported to have once said of Lammy: 'He's gorgeous. All the Labour women MPs are talking about him.'

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