Bernie Grant(1944-2000), Labour politician; MP for Tottenham
Bernard Alexander Montgomery ('Bernie') Grant
Sitter in 1 portrait
Son of a school teacher and headmaster, Grant was born in Guyana and came to the UK in 1963. He attended Tottenham Technical College before going on to study engineering at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, but left University in 1969 in protest against discrimination of black students. Grant joined the Tottenham Labour Party (1973), was elected a Councillor (1978), and then Leader of Haringey Council (1985), the first ever black person to hold such a position. Elected as MP for Tottenham (1987) he was, with (Diane Abbott and Paul Boateng), one of the 3 first black MP’s. Controversial at times, he was outspoken about inner city deprivation, institutionalised racism, and the legacy of colonialism. The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham, designed by David Adjaye, opened in 2007.