Labour leadership: Richard Burgon confirms he’s standing for deputy leader

Richard Burgon MP will stand to be Labour's deputy leader

Richard Burgon, who has been an MP in Leeds since 2015, has said he will stand to be Labour’s deputy leader.

The shadow justice secretary tweeted: “After a break and discussion with MPs and party members, I’m announcing that I’m standing to be Labour’s Deputy Leader.”

Mr Burgon, who is the MP for Leeds East, wrote in a recent article that thinks it is a mistake to focus blame on Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s dire performance in the general election.

Prior to becoming an MP, Burgon worked as a solicitor. He specialised in employment rights for ten years at Thompsons Solicitors.

Burgon was one of the 48 in the parliamentary Labour party that defied the whip and voted against the Welfare Bill during the 2015 leadership contest.

He was also one of 36 MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, and he nominated Corbyn as leader again during the 2016 contest with Owen Smith.

He went on to pay tribute to Mr Corbyn, saying “nobody campaigned with greater energy, resilience and principle” and that all members of the shadow cabinet should accept responsibility for losing so many seats.

He wrote: “After a break and discussions with MPs and party members, I’m announcing that I’m standing to be Labour’s Deputy Leader.”

He included a link to an article he wrote outlining “some thoughts on why we lost badly and how we rebuild.”

In the article, published in left wing magazine Tribune, Mr Burgon sought to deflect blame away from Jeremy Corbyn for Labour’s disastrous election result.

Mr Burgon wrote: “This is the fourth leader I’ve campaigned for and each time… the leader always came up.

“We can’t allow blame for this election to fall on Jeremy’s shoulders alone, just as we all accepted the praise when, in 2017, we secured the highest increase in our vote since the Second World War.”

He argued “nobody had campaigned with greater energy, resilience and principle than Jeremy” and it would be “mistaken to focus blame there”.

And he warned against the return of a centre-left agenda, arguing “nostalgia has no role to play” in making the party successful again.

He said he wants to regain the trust of the electorate, and to rebrand the party as the champion of the whole working class “whether in towns and cities, whether Remain or Leave”.

He added that Brexit became an “issue of trust” and the failure to “get it done” meant that many people simple did not believe Labour would able to deliver on “our ambitious manifesto”, and that to rebuild Labour, the party “must be the champion of the whole working-class”.

He called for a “special commission” to investigate what went wrong for Labour in Leave-voting seats before focusing on 10 of the party’s key manifesto policies as a “vision of hope against the cruelty that will come from the Johnson government”.

We at Labour Heartlands fully endorse Richard Burgon as deputy leader he has been a great advocate for workers rights and the working class. We would dearly love to see him stand alongside Ian Lavery MP If Ian can be persuaded to carry the torch as Labour party leader.

Shadow minister for equalities and women, Dawn Butler, has also announced her intention to stand. As has Khalid Mahmood, a shadow Europe minister.

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