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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There has been nothing limited about the suffering that Israel’s military operation in Rafah has caused.

With today’s adoption of Security Council resolution 2730 and the @CIJ_ICJ’s order, this is a moment of clarity.

Release the hostages. Agree a ceasefire. End this nightmare.

Nowhere in Gaza is safe. The @CIJ_ICJ’s order underlines the gravity of the situation in Gaza, where civilians are facing famine.

Yet the Israeli government continues to flout the World Court’s binding orders by obstructing the entry of lifesaving aid and services.

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Latest posts

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...

‘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...

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.