Longbridge MP welcomes Select Committee Inquiry


Richard Burden MP has today welcomed the decision of the Commons Trade and Industry Committee to launch an Inquiry into the role of the Government and MG Rover, and has offered to give evidence if the Committee would find that helpful. The Longbridge car plant is in Mr Burden’s Birmingham Northfield constituency. In June last year, Mr Burden secured a special debate in Parliament in which he raised some of the key issues and lessons arising from MG Rover. It is likely that a number of these themes will be revisited in the course of the Select Committee’s Inquiry. Mr Burden has remained actively involved in dealing with the aftermath of the collapse of MG Rover both as a constituency MP and as a member of the Task Force set up by the Government.

Mr Burden said today:

“The story of MG Rover and what happened to it has not only attracted widespread public attention. It is also of great significance to Britain’s industrial strategy and how we respond to industrial change.

“For my constituents and thousands of others across the West Midlands, the importance of MG Rover was even more important. It has been about their jobs, their livelihoods and about the identity of the communities living in and around South West Birmingham.

“These were some of the reasons why I secured a special Parliamentary debate in June last year and why I would be very pleased to give evidence to the Select Committee if that would be helpful. As the local MP whose constituency includes Longbridge, I have had an ongoing responsibility to be actively involved with affairs affecting MG Rover since the early 1990s. As a member of the Trade and Industry Select Committee in the 2001-2005 Parliament, I also played an active role in the Committee’s work on the motor industry generally and that included looking at MG Rover as part of broader Inquiries.

“When the company collapsed in the spring of 2005, it was clear that the Select Committee would be likely to look into MG Rover specifically. I decided then that if I remained on the Trade and Industry Committee after the election, I would step aside from such an Inquiry. Because I had been so close to the issue for so long – and I remain so today – I believe it would be inappropriate for me to pretend that I could bring to this issue the kind of independent or objective assessment that I am sure the Select Committee will want to achieve with this Inquiry. It would be far better for me to offer my views and evidence to the Committee as a witness. As it turns out, I am now a member of a different Select Committee anyway but my offer to help the Committee with evidence is obviously still there.”

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Richard Burden

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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.

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