CategoryMiddle East

Gaza: lives in backpacks


A friend in Gaza has just sent me this photo of people trying to get to the south on foot, having lost their homes in and around Gaza City. Whole lives consigned to a carrier bag or backpack. It will always shame the world that we let these war crimes carry on.

Gaza: Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery


On Remembrance Sunday, a video of my visit to the Commonwealth War Graves in Gaza Cemetery in 2012. I met Ibrahim Jaradah MBE who had lovingly kept the cemetery immaculate for decades. Ibrahim’s family have continued his work ever since but they are amongst the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who have now been forced to flee the north of Gaza. I don’t know how far the cemetery has survived...

Labour must not row back on recognising Palestine


By Katie Neame Originally published by Labour List, November 9, 2023 A former Labour shadow minister has urged the party not to further row back on past commitments on recognising Palestine when in government, criticising its decision not to promise immediate recognition of statehood. Speaking exclusively to LabourList, Richard Burden, the former Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield, called on...

Government’s new Bill ignores UN rules


This week, the UK Government has published a Bill that will both jettison Britain’s respect for international laws that ban the acquisition of territory by conquest and ignore UN rules signed by the UK over a decade ago calling on businesses to ensure their commercial dealings abroad uphold human rights. The Bill will also uniquely shield human rights abuses by Israel from scrutiny by UK public...

What if it was Birmingham?


To all my friends living in my home town: Please consider this. There are around 1.1 million Palestinians living in the north of the Gaza Strip. Israel’s military order that they should leave within 24 hours is like telling the population of Birmingham to leave within 24 hours – including evacuating the Queen Elizabeth, other hospitals and care homes in the city, as well as people’s houses...

Medical Aid for Palestinians


Visiting the occupied West Bank & Gaza last week, Medical Aid for Palestinians Vice Chair, Shireen Jayyusi and I were at Rafidia hospital in Nablus on Thursday. We arrived just hours after an Israeli military raid on the town in which soldiers had surrounded the hospital overnight. We heard testimony from doctors that tear gas canisters had been thrown through hospital windows by Israeli...

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.