Lord David Pitt ,Baron Pitt of Hampstead, now deceased was the longest serving Black Parliamentarian, having been granted a life peerage in 1975.
Born in Grenada, he came to Britain in 1933 to study medicine at Edinburgh University. His achievements in his two chosen careers of medicine and politics were considerable. In 1943, while practicing medicine in Trinidad and Tobago, he was founder member and leader of the West Indian National Party. Upon his return to live in Britain in 1947 he served as a Member of London County Council and a Chairperson of the Greater London Council and, from 1985-88, as President of the British Medical Association.
He was Deputy Chairman of the Community Relations Commission from 1968-1977, and Chairman in 1977. Notably, Pitt was a member of black peoples’ and anti-discriminations organisations such as the League of Coloured Peoples and the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination which he chaired in 1965. As a prominent member of the House of Lords, inner city issues were among his major concerns.
He was Chairperson of the Shelter National Campaign for the Homeless; Chairperson of the Race Equality Unit of the Institute of Social Work; President of the Open Door Counseling Service for the Youth of North London; President of the African-Caribbean Medical Society and Co-Chairperson of the Urban Trust, which provided pump-priming finance for projects in inner city areas. He was buried in Grenada with full honours following his death in London December 18, 1994.