Richard Burden

Former Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield

Welcome to my website and blog.

I created it when I was Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019, and most of the posts on here date from that period. A summary of my Parliamentary career can be found here. You can also read a bit more about who I am and what makes me tick here.

I have continued to blog from time to time since leaving Parliament. My posts below also contain links to articles I have written and which have been published elsewhere, together with posts imported from my own Facebook page.

This front page of my website contains the text (only) of my recent tweets and retweets on X and introductory extracts from my blog posts in date order. To view posts on a specific subject, from both during and after my time in Parliament, please click one of the buttons below.

These are the main subjects on which I’ve written. Click here to view the full list of categories.

Click on ‘Contact’ below for links to my social media and LinkedIn profile.

Recent tweets

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When Israeli military spokespeople talk about their “investigation” into the killing of 7 WCK aid workers, please also refer to what this Israeli journalist has found out about how Israeli forces have been choosing their targets in Gaza not just this week but for 6 months.

Yuval Abraham, an Israeli journalist, explains how Israel uses ‘Lavender’ AI technology to rapidly detect “low-level Hamas operatives,” despite a high error rate that results in civilian deaths. Abraham said that according to sources who have used the system, it marked 37,000…

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Latest posts

‘Toxic’ culture at UHB

Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull statement on the Culture Review of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull have for some time been hearing disturbing stories of the toxic staff culture at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), which we have been raising directly with the Trust and Care Quality...

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...

CQC downgrades maternity services ratings at UHB


Statement on downgraded Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings for maternity services at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) In its decision to downgrade maternity services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) at Good Hope and Heartlands hospitals, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has highlighted serious issues which require urgent...

Mental health services under increased pressure


Statement on the Care Quality Commission report into Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust The picture of mental health services under increased pressure in the latest Care Quality Commission (CQC) report into Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) is reflected in the feedback Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull receive. Like many...

CQC investigations into Good Hope and Heartlands Hospitals


Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull are concerned by the findings of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections of Good Hope Hospital and Heartlands Hospital, following reports of patient safety concerns. That the CQC has issued a notice requiring University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) to make significant and immediate improvements to staffing levels at Good...

Patient safety at UHB


Statement on the Bewick review into patient safety and concerns at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) Professor Bewick’s report paints a disturbing picture of serious failings at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and shows that the allegations made by whistleblowers were not isolated incidents, but the result of a deep-seated toxic culture which contributed to Dr...

Memories of York University


Great evening last night at the Guildhall in York where the University of York was hosting a dinner for current and former students union officers as part of the university’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Having been President of the Students Union 1976–77, I was one of the “oldies” there. Lovely to catch up with my immediate successor, Phil Harris (President 1977–78), in person for the first...

Iraq anniversary


It’s 20 years since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. I was one of 139 Labour MPs who opposed the invasion in the key vote which took place in the House of Commons. Six months earlier, I had written directly to Tony Blair expressing my concerns about the course he was taking. The letter is here:

Statement on the Ombudsman and UHB


Healthwatch Birmingham and Healthwatch Solihull are extremely concerned to hear reports that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has been excluded from contributing evidence to the reviews into University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB). If the PHSO has been rebuffed from giving evidence, patients and the public need an immediate explanation as to why and by whom. In relation to the...

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...

Remembering Jack Dromey


I’m struggling to take in the heart­breaking news that my good friend, Jack Dromey, has died. I knew Jack for the best part of half a century. I first came across him back in the 1970s when I was a student activist. He was leading action in support of women striking for trade union recognition at the Grunwick film processing company in London. It summed up Jack’s outlook and work ever since...

When Frank Met Dennis


Celebrity, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. As a lifelong motorsport fan, I have been lucky enough to get to know some of the key figures in F1 over the past twenty years or so and to be at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix most years. Even so, I still get a bit star-struck when I am in the F1 paddock. Part of me still feels like the 13 year old me who was at a Grand Prix for the...

Recent Posts

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.