Burgon campaign statement: full democracy in candidate selections, campaign overhaul and heartland drive

Deputy leadership candidate Richard Burgon

Labour deputy leadership hopeful Richard Burgon – whose entry into the contest has created a buzz among the party’s left – has made a strong start to his campaign with a statement of intent that will strike several chords with Labour’s grassroots.

Burgon has committed himself to full democracy for members to select their candidates instead of the current frustrating processes that have proven to be stacked in favour of right-wing incumbents.

But he goes further, being the only one of the candidates in either contest to frankly identify the role of Labour’s move from its Brexit commitment in Labour’s general election losses – and winning back leave-voting communities as the only route back to power.

Burgon’s statement also recognises also that Labour’s election message needs to be more tightly focused to ensure that voters receive it.

Burgon also underlines his credentials as a left MP – as a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn in both his leadership contests and one of the few in the contests to have voted against the 2015 Tory welfare cuts on which then-acting leader Harriet Harman ordered Labour MPs to abstain. He also reminds members of his victory over the Murdoch S*n and his selfless use of the compensation he won.

Richard Burgon is showing why influential supporters of some of the other deputy leader candidates were eager to keep him out of the contest:

I’ll be a campaigning Deputy Leader.

Winning the next general election means regaining the trust of the voters we’ve lost. My focus will be building a Party rooted in every community with powerful local campaigns that show whose side we’re on.

I fully back our previous two manifestos. These offer real solutions to the problems our communities face.

Great policies, however, aren’t enough. I’ll overhaul our campaigning and messaging to focus on 10 key policies that are easily explainable on the doorstep.

Any path to power requires us winning back the 50+ Leave-supporting seats we lost. As Deputy Leader, I’ll chair a Special Commission on rebuilding that support.

Our members and trade union affiliates ensure we’re rooted in the realities of our communities. I back a fully democratic system for members to choose Labour candidates.

I’ve always stood up to the establishment and for the oppressed. Before being an MP, I was a trade union lawyer for a decade. As an MP, I voted against the 2015 Tory Welfare Bill and nominated and backed Jeremy in both leadership elections. When I successfully sued The Sun, I used the £30,000 compensation to fund a local internship.

As Secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, founded by Tony Benn, I believe the values of peace, equality and socialism are more necessary than ever.

Working class communities in all their diversity need a Labour government. Whoever is leader, I’ll be a team player focused on our main task: winning back power.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. He is definitely our man. Vote of no confidence in BoD ExGM ?
    Abstain in the leadership election just like the BoD stooges did on the welfare bill. Hoist them with their own petard.
    Zero votes for the BoD stooges.

  2. Momentum have given the membership a democratic vote to vote for REB…. long Bailey and her pal Angel Rayner. and the others. ? well err Its a sort of democracy in mr lansmans feifdom.It even surpassed the PLP choice of candidates.And mr burgon,the least dishonest of the bunch?.

    1. Given the Lansman owned entity known as Momentum has lost large numbers of late, and the diktats of the London-centric Central Committee largely ignored by most Momentum groups outside of Zone Five, the Momentum Bloc of votes ain’t what it was, so, whilst Lansman et al may be flogging the RBL/Raynor dream ticket Burgon seems well placed to mop up much of the actual Leftwing vote within the Party membership. Given he’s not sold out the membership to the BoD, nor engaged in the AS hysteria our Progress and Labour First chums have whipped up, I’m looking forward to pushing Richard and his democratic message, he gets my vote, and hopefully a fair bit of the vote from the Leftists I know in my own neck of the woods, so, I trust many of those considering leaving the Party stay and give Richard a support base, an actual genuine support base that TWatson failed to deliver during his four years of open treachery against JC and most of the membership.

    2. Yes indeed , Joseph, the extraordinary dodgy decision of the tiny claque around Jon Lansman who run (the now rapidly collapsing) Momentum as their private, totally undemocratic, fiefdom, to back the blatant opportunist and catspaw of the Labour Right and Tory press, Angela Raynor, is yet another badge of shame for an organisation that could potentially have been a socialist mobilising force within the Right Wing PLP and party machine dominated Labour Party – but was turned into a passive canvassing squad and voting bloc for whatever shady manoeuvre Lansman and his claque fancied from moment to moment.

      Richard Burgon is the only real socialist (in any meaningful use of the term ) competing in either the Leader or Deputy Leader contests unfortunately. A huge pity he is only up for Deputy – a post which simply has no power at all when a Right Winger or ‘centrist’ opportunist (as Long-Bailey really is) is Leader . The post only has some ‘power’, when, as with Tom Watson’s baleful destructive role, it provides a sabotage platform for the Right in cahoots with the Tory press to attack a Left Leader.

      I shall certainly vote for Richard Burgon with enthusiasm – but will have to hold my nose to vote for that quite obviously opportunist Left-faker, Long-Bailey – who will be incapable of standing up to the Right Wing majority for five minutes – compared to Jeremy’s heroic resistance over four years (but of course he was hemmed in, traduced by an unprecedented media campaign of vilification, betrayed by the likes of McDonnell and Abbott over Brexit, and did capitulate in the end).

      1. I am supporting RB for the Deputy Leadership. But I am abstaining in the leadership. With RLB as leader, we will have not choice but to put at with her.
        However, with KS as leader with RB as deputy and with stronger mandate than KS, the left would be in a better position to push KS to stay true to his promise of keeping a Corbynista agenda.
        Large number of abstentions in the leadership contest, will persuade KS that he will stay as leader so far as the left doesn’t challenge him for the leadership.
        While with RLB claiming the left mantle nobody from the left will challenge her for the leadership. We need to keep this option open by ensuring that the abstention is strong.
        Let’s no forget that in 2021 it would be elections to both the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, plus local elections in the north and midlands. Under KS leadership we are going to lose seats every where in 2021. It would be the opportunity for a proper socialist candidate to challenge him for the leadership and win.
        Hence, the best course of action is to abstain in the leadership. Let’s mark the difference and give RB a resounding democratic mandate.

  3. Yes Richard is a great socialist and a shame none of his co MPs in his city didn’t nominate him but then again apart from himself and FH it was no surprise as none of them are socialists.
    Burgon would be great in the Leave areas and his Commission could set up Labour Solidarity Committees with unions in every town and city to offer political and practical support and help in outreach campaigns so we rebuild alongside the left behind.
    The Right et al are worried that working class Rayner may have been caught out selling out poor working class people by abstaining on Tory welfare cuts?
    They are putting it out that AR was away on a delegation but Parliamentary records do not say DNV – did not vote but ABSTAINED.
    Sad that AR may not have had the political courage to stand by the poor and political acumen to counter the dominant right wing narrative on welfare, working class welfare bad, upper class welfare good?
    I’ll vote for RLB and will be proud to vote for RB.

  4. It will be interesting to see if Momentum membership mutates away from Lansman – I sense a lot are not over-enamoured of the wind-vane.

    Burgon is probably the best of this mediocre parade – but being still fixated with the Brexit vote shows limited understanding of what happened. Also note the consequent ignoring of the critical Scottish Remain vote that stays in the toilet. Of course – it doesn’t fit with the Brexit claptrap aimed at the MailSun voters.

    1. As someone that voted to Remain but accepted the result of the Referendum; in the GE 2017 with a manifesto accepting the Referendum result and promising to enact Brexit, we won 6 seats in Scotland. On 2019 GE we lost the 6 of them.
      The results of the EU election should have been the canary in the mine. The Party that got more votes was the Brexit Party, no the LibDems. But the remain camp insisted in portraying the Labour vote as a remain vote.
      Nothing further from the true, I voted Labour in the ref and I voted labour in the EU elections. However, I never supported the campaign for a People’s Vote as I knew, it will lost us the GE and will force a very hard Brexit or a no deal Brexit. Plus some brexetiers voted Labour out of loyalty.
      The same applies to the last General Election, I voted Labour but I will have supported and vote for a good brexit deal negotiated by Labour. Hence, portraying the labour vote as a vote in favour of remain, it is simplistic and rather dishonest.

      1. Simply, Gorria, the Labour vote *was* a Remain vote. There’s no question – in terms of both members and supporters.

        Cornered by the Tories, the Party would have lost votes either way – but all research shows that the potential losses from adopting a Leave position would have been far greater.

        The key mistakes were made in not taking on the Tories right at the outset. Terrible tactical mistakes were made at that point.

    2. I am still a member of Momentum and voted NO on the idea of endorsing AR, voted yes holding my nose for RLB, but plan to abstain in the final vote.
      Another thing as soon as RLB and AR reach 50% of the vote, the consultation will close and the candidate endorsed. Plus even if 50% of Momentum’s membership doesn’t take part on the consultation (I don’t expect a high turn out) if 50% of those members who take part on the consultation endorse RLB and AR they will be endorsed.
      All very democratic (no) of course.

  5. I wish Richard had stood for leader – he would have been the pick of the bunch. He has definitely got my vote for Deputy.

Leave a Reply