The general election campaign has begun and I’m fighting for a fair future for our area


We are now just four months away from the most significant general election in a generation.

On May 7 people in Northfield and elsewhere will have the opportunity to make one of the most important choices they have made in many years.

Whichever government gets in will have to make tough decisions for our country’s future, but there is a huge difference in the values that inform those decisions. Labour values mean investing in the homes people need, protecting the NHS and trying to give young people the future they deserve. The Conservative plan is one in which only a few at the top succeed and where public services are threatened.

It comes down to who we want our country to work for – everyday working people and their families or a privileged few at the top.

The Conservative Government’s record – on living standards, prospects for our children, protecting our public services and dealing with our nation’s debts – is one to run from, not run on.

It seems that the Conservative assumption in Northfield is that if they spend enough money on political marketing in the constituency, they can get local people to believe anything – from the misleading to the downright nasty.

Latest estimates show the Tories are spending in excess of £10k in Northfield alone in just one month. Sadly, the size of the Conservative coffers is matched only by their willingness to smear. So far local Tory marketing material has told fibs on our libraries, leisure centres, crematoriums, street lights and the police. (Also see my Facebook for myth-busting posts).

I’ve represented people in the Northfield area for almost 23 years. My record has always been about action on Birmingham or more widely. As my mid-term parliamentary report shows, I have campaigned tirelessly for jobs, skills and the protection of services for our area. Since 2010, I have also taken up over 4000 individual cases which local people bring to me.

I’ve always listened to people about what they want for our area and for our country because I also know their views must be heard if we are to change things for the better.

Over the next four months I hope to speak to as many local people as possible about Labour’s plans – including rewarding hard work through an £8 minimum wage and an end to exploitive zero-hours contracts, making sure no young person is unemployed for over a year and protecting our NHS through a guaranteed GP appointment within 48 hours and a £2.5 billion Time to Care fund for thousands more health staff.

Labour’s plan is not simply about creating a fairer society; it is about creating a more prosperous one too. No amount of promotional spending by the Tories can wash away the gulf that exists between their values and ours.

I’m passionate about these issues and making sure that local people know what Labour’s priorities are and what we stand for. But this is going to be a tough fight which is why I’m asking you to help.

If you’re interested in kicking out the Tories, making sure there is a Labour government in May 2015 and ensuring there is someone who will always take local people’s concerns serious, then please get in touch (link) and join me in fighting for victory on the streets and doorsteps of our area by speaking to local people about Labour’s offer of hope for the future.

To find out ways of supporting my campaign for Northfield or to make a donation click Get Involved.

To learn more about Labour’s vision click here.

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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.

Get in touch

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