Support Labour? Then register to vote for Labour’s next leader.


Registered supportersThis Wednesday (12 August) at midday is the deadline to register to have a say on who should be the next Leader of the Labour Party.

It’s going to be the most open election there has ever been to elect a Leader of one of this country’s two main political parties. Labour is holding its election this way because we know that all too often, people feel political parties operate in a different kind of world and do not do enough to involve the people we seek to represent. In many places around a third of people feel so disconnected from politics that they did not vote at all in May’s General Election.

We know that politics has to change. That means more than the Labour Party changing. But we can do our bit. And that is why this time not only will every individual Labour member have a vote, but people who support our Party will have a say too.

Are there risks? Yes of course there are. You have probably seen bits and pieces in the media recently about some members of the Conservative Party or of factions at the other end of politics trying to sign up for a vote to try to distort the result of the election. Where people try to do this, it says a lot about them. In fact it is precisely that kind of thing that puts a lot of people off politics in the first place.

But beyond the few who are trying to disrupt this election for their own ends, there are many thousands of other people who share Labour’s desire to create a fairer and more prosperous Britain; genuine Labour supporters who vote for us at election time and who want to see us win again. They deserve to be heard and this Leadership election is one of the ways in which their voices can be heard.

So if you are a Labour supporter but are not a member, please do sign up as a registered supporter before Wednesday at midday. It will give you a say in our Leadership, and help us to keep in touch with you in the months and years ahead.

Already there is a progressive future to be built in Britain that can be so much better than the kind of society that David Cameron and George Osborne want for our country. Please register as a supporter to be part of making that progressive future happen.

I will be voting for Yvette Cooper to be Leader and Tom Watson as Deputy. But the votes of MPs like me will count for the same as those of everyone else.  Every Labour member and supporter will however be able to vote for the leadership team we each want.

For more information about all the candidates, including blog posts, recordings of their debates – as well as guidance on how to sign up to become a registered supporter to a full member, from as little as £3 – visit the Labour Leadership FAQs page.

You can also read more about my views on the Leadership contest 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.

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