Parliamentary Career


Richard Burden was the MP for Birmingham Northfield from 1992 until 2019.

Having lived in Birmingham for most of his adult life, he is a strong community advocate, for his constituency and Birmingham as a whole. His maiden speech in Parliament called for a greater focus on the needs of outer city urban areas; a theme which has run though his work ever since.

As an MP, Richard’s work focused strongly on regeneration and regional growth, advocating for investment, jobs and opportunities in South West Birmingham, an area which has faced major economic challenges – particularly following the collapse of MG Rover at Longbridge in 2005. He chaired Parliament’s West Midlands Select Committee in 2009- 10, particularly focusing on the impact of the 2008 financial crash on the region and recommending actions to be taken.

In October 2013 Richard was appointed as Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister with responsibility for roads, road safety, road freight, active travel and the development of policy on zero carbon and zero emission vehicles. He led for the Labour Front Bench in debates on the Coalition Government’s Infrastructure Bill which established Highways England in 2015. He also spearheaded Labour’s “fix it first” campaign to tackle the pothole epidemic on Britain’s roads. In 2015 he became Shadow Minister for Strategic Transport Networks, adding aviation and maritime to his areas of responsibility, and leading for a Labour in response to the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.

Earlier in his parliamentary career, Richard served as Parliamentary Private Secretary in the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and in the former Department of Social Security.

Richard has had a strong interest in the motor industry for many years. He chaired the All-Party Motor Group in Parliament, addressing issues of strategic importance to the UK automotive industry, the motorsport industry and vehicle users and promoting dialogue between politicians, industry, vehicle users and other stakeholders. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and in 2016 he was presented with the IMI’s award for “outstanding leadership in the motor industry.” A keen motor sport fan and former amateur racing driver, Richard once won the House of Commons vs. House of Lords motor race that used to take place annually. He also served as advisor on motorsport to the Minister of Sport between 2001 and 2005.

In addition to his local role in Birmingham Northfield and his work on national issues, Richard is active on international affairs. He served on Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) between 2005 and 2013, and then re-joining the committee after he stood down from his Shadow Ministerial role in 2017. He represented the IDC on Arms Export Control matters and chaired its sub-committee monitoring the work of the UK Independent Commission on Aid Impact.

He has a specialist interest in the Middle East and he was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War in 2003. He is also a long-standing advocate of the rights of the Palestinians. As Chair of the Britain-Palestine All-Party Parliamentary Group he was instrumental in securing the historic House of Commons motion calling on the UK Government to recognise the State of Palestine alongside Israel, which was passed in October 2014 by 274 votes to 12.

Richard also has a longstanding interest in constitutional issues and is a former chair of both the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and the All-Party Group on Electoral Reform.

A member of the Tribune Group of MPs, Richard was a political ally of the late Robin Cook and describes himself as being on the democratic Left of the Labour Party.

You can see more information about Richard on his LinkedIn profile here.

Recent Posts

Richard Burden

Avatar photo

I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Get in touch

You can reach me by email at or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.