‘A disciplined comrade’ – Richard Burgon

forty quotes from and about
Richard Burgon
born 1980
Labour MP for Leeds East 2015
shadow city minister 2015–16
shadow justice secretary 2016–

Richard Burgon broke convention by calling for the end to the Monarchy before affirming an oath of allegiance. “As someone that believes that the head of state should be elected I make this oath in order to serve my constituents,” he said.’ – Daily Mirror (2015) [i]

‘No-one was more surprised than me that my swearing in as an MP made the news last week.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [ii]

‘New SNP MP Patricia Gibson flinched in disgust after one of her colleagues broke wind in the Commons. Shocked Patricia was caught on camera recoiling in horror when Labour rival Richard Burgon let off during a debate. She could be seen on telly covering her mouth and trying to waft away the nauseating stench as Mr Burgon ignored her desperate actions.’ – Daily Record (2015) [iii]

‘I never would consider myself as a career politician. I had in my mind that I would be a diligent constituency MP, and also be a voice for socialist politics from the back benches. So I wasn’t going to bend my views or keep my mouth shut in order to try and get promotions. Then of course when Jeremy became leader of the Labour Party and I supported him, he needed people to step up to the plate.’ – Richard Burgon (2018) [iv]

‘I do think it’s unfair to characterise Jeremy Corbyn and his campaign as some sort of time travel back to the 1980s. If there’s any travelling back in time going on it’s the travelling back in time to the stale, out-dated Blairite 1990s.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [v]

‘Opposing the replacement of Trident is not only right as part of a practical strategy to create a safer world, it will also save the UK Government £100bn, which should be spent on hospitals, schools and job creation.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [vi]

‘I think we all need to get behind the Labour leader who’s been elected with a huge mandate – the biggest mandate that a leader of any political party has ever had. I don’t believe there’s a vile atmosphere.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [vii]

‘Matters came to a head at a meeting of the Labour MPs in a Commons committee room, when Leeds MP Richard Burgon – another ally of Mr Corbyn – attempted to defend the Momentum campaign. One of the MPs at the meeting said: “That is when it all descended into chaos. Richard Burgon was just howled down.”’ – Birmingham Post (2015) [viii]

‘I’m a disciplined comrade.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [ix]

‘Neoliberal economics has ruled the roost since about 1979 – and who thinks that’s worked in the interests of ordinary people? It’s strange that anyone who questions the consensus that has failed ordinary people is viewed as being slightly not sensible.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [x]

‘I’m keen to ensure that the City of London is working in the interests of the rest of the country and recognises the lessons of the financial crash.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [xi]

‘You get the impression that he is meeting people just to close off accusations that he will not meet people in the industry.’ – City of London financier after a meeting with Richard Burgon (2016) [xii]

‘Well-er, uh, I’m not an economic… er… I’m not, er, somebody who’s going to put a figure in a crystal ball… er…’ – Richard Burgon, asked about the level of Britain’s deficit (2015) [xiii]

‘Labour is proud of the Human Rights Act. The Act has improved the lives of many people in the UK.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xiv]

‘There are some MPs who have probably taken the view that military action in Syria is indisputable wisdom. I disagree with them.’ – Richard Burgon (2015) [xv]

‘Trade unionists aren’t some kind of other, or some kind of enemy within.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xvi]

‘The Labour Party’s a broad church and it should be.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xvii]

‘It is vitally important that we respect each other with our different views, as we do. But I tell you this, MPs need to respect party members as well.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xviii]

‘All parties need to be made more democratic. We’ve got a membership of well over half a million and I would like the members to have more say in our party’s policies and in the way the party’s run.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xix]

‘I am not – and others are not – going to stand by whilst hundreds of thousands of decent Labour members are dismissed and demonised as bullies, brick-throwers, misogynists and thugs. It’s just not right. And this kind of thing is nothing new. Labour people must remember that in the 1984/5 miners’ strike the establishment attempted to dismiss and demonise hundreds of thousands of striking miners and activists from Women Against Pit Closures as bullies, brick-throwers and thugs.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xx]

‘Anti-Semitism and racism are major problems in our society. The Labour Party isn’t separate from our society.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxi]

‘Politics shouldn’t be a parlour game or cosy club.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxii]

‘Fidel Castro was a giant. A man of ideas. A man of action.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xxiii]

‘We should defend the gains and achievements of the Cuban revolution.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xxiv]

‘[Donald] Trump’s inauguration is what happens when centre-left parties abandon transformation of economic system and rely on identity politics.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxv]


‘We have a choice with this interview. We can do the rather tedious thing of going through each number or we can talk about the bigger picture.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxvi]

‘I think the media sometimes needs a reality check.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxvii]

‘Labour was also forced to clarify claims by Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secretary, that more than 150,000 people have joined the party since the June 8 election. In fact, Mr Corbyn’s office sent out an email on Sunday to all members and supporters suggesting that 15,000, rather than 150,000, people had joined the party since the election.’ – Daily Telegraph (2017) [xxviii]

‘Respecting the EU Referendum result is the right and democratic thing to do.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xxix]

‘Labour won’t be blocking the triggering of Article 50. What we will be setting out is the fact that Britain needs a plan.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xxx]

‘We want the benefits of being in the customs union even if, when we leave the European Union, we can’t be in the customs union.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxxi]

‘Labour did campaign, as everyone knows, passionately, for a remain and reform agenda.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxxii]

‘I can say very clearly: we are not arguing for a second referendum.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxxiii]

‘I’m listening to a lot of Vallenfyre at the moment.’ – Richard Burgon (2016) [xxxiv]

‘The other week, a local Leeds band – the wonderfully named Dream Troll, whose members I’ve known since we were all heavy metal-obsessed teenagers – asked me, for a bit of fun, to do a guest appearance on their new song, reading a few lines to add dramatic effect to a classic swords and sorcery-style heavy metal narrative … They are ordinary, decent blokes and there’s not a racist or Nazi bone in their bodies.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxxv]

‘I do live in the real world, I live in Leeds.’ – Richard Burgon (2017) [xxxvi]

‘Please listen to the fans on this and scrap this badge. Leeds United – and the fans – deserve better than this.’ – Richard Burgon (2018) [xxxvii]

‘Richard Burgon, shadow lord chancellor, has appeared [on Russia Today] eleven times … RT has described Mr Burgon, 37, as “one of Corbyn’s bright young men”.’ – Times (2017) [xxxviii]

‘Richard Burgon is Labour’s satirically named “justice” spokesman.’ – Nick Cohen (2017) [xxxix]

‘I think that we will win the next General Election.’ – Richard Burgon (2018) [xl]

see also:


[i] Daily Mirror 20 May 2015

[ii] Independent 29 May 2015

[iii] Daily Record 29 May 2015

[iv] Yorkshire Evening Post 11 March 2018

[v] Independent 3 August 2015

[vi] Herald 4 March 2015

[vii] Press Association 13 November 2015

[viii] Birmingham Post 15 October 2015

[ix] Evening Standard 15 October 2015

[x] Daily Record 4 August 2015

[xi] Independent 11 December 2015

[xii] Financial Times 17 May 2016

[xiii] City A.M. 15 October 2015

[xiv] Independent 10 December 2016

[xv] Yorkshire Post 17 November 2015

[xvi] Daily Mirror 12 September 2017

[xvii] Daily Mirror 2 July 2017

[xviii] Daily Telegraph 23 July 2016

[xix] Times 3 July 2017

[xx] Daily Telegraph 29 June 2016

[xxi] Daily Telegraph 27 September 2017

[xxii] Total Politics 25 August 2017

[xxiii] Times 14 September 2017

[xxiv] Sunday Times 18 December 2016

[xxv] Guardian 28 January 2017

[xxvi] Daily Mirror 17 May 2017

[xxvii] Politics Home 7 June 2017

[xxviii] Daily Telegraph 13 June 2017

[xxix] Independent 4 November 2016

[xxx] Daily Mirror 6 November 2016

[xxxi] Coventry Telegraph 2 July 2017

[xxxii] Total Politics 7 July 2017

[xxxiii] Independent 17 December 2017

[xxxiv] Metal Hammer October 2016

[xxxv] Facebook, 15 April 2017

[xxxvi] Evening Standard 7 July 2017

[xxxvii] Daily Mirror 25 January 2018

[xxxviii] Times 11 October 2017

[xxxix] Observer 21 October 2017

[xl] Yorkshire Evening Post 11 March 2018


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