Time to pass the baton on


Today I am announcing that I will not seek nomination for election again as MP for Birmingham Northfield. As a Labour member living locally, I am also backing Cllr Alex Aitken. My statement is here:

I was humbled by the kind words I received from residents when knocking on doors in the recent local elections. Lots of people told me how much they want Northfield to have a Labour MP again, and they urged me to re-stand for Parliament when the next General Election comes.

It was the privilege of my life to represent my local community in Parliament for 27 years. I want to thank everyone for the support I received over the years and I really appreciate the warmth which local people continue to show me.

But there comes a time when it feels right to pass the baton to someone else. For me, that time is now. So today I am announcing that I will not seek selection to be Labour’s candidate next time.

I will, of course, continue to work to help Labour win my home constituency once again and to defeat the Conservative Government that treats the British people with such contempt. There are a lot of talented people who are seeking nomination as Labour candidate for Birmingham Northfield. All of them have strengths that would be assets to this area. When I come to cast my vote as a local Labour member, however, I will be backing Kings Norton Councillor, Alex Aitken.

I have known and worked closely with Alex for years. He has lived all his life in our area, and he is Northfield through and through. As a Councillor, he has proved himself to be a hard-working and effective advocate for local people whose confidence in him was demonstrated when he increased his majority fourfold. There is also real depth to Alex’s politics, informed by his own life experience. He is pragmatic when circumstances demand it, but he always remains true to the principles that brought him into the Labour Party in the first place. I believe those qualities are vitally important in an MP.

Alex is the genuine article, and I will be proud for him to represent me as my home MP.

Richard Burden
MP for Birmingham Northfield, 1992–2019

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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.