Ask Your MP – Three Questions for your Local MP Richard Burgon

Three Questions for your local MP by East Leeds Residents.


Question 1: Where do you stand on Brexit?
Richard Burgon MP: I strongly believe that the voters’ decision that Britain should leave the European Union should be respected and followed. Parliament shouldn’t attempt to ‘wriggle out’ of the decision that the British people made. I am against a second referendum on EU membership. Asking the same question again and again in an attempt to eventually get the answer some people in Parliament wanted first time round would be simply anti-democratic.
I don’t believe that the Government made a proper plan for the possibility of the Referendum result being a vote to Leave. We’ve had the referendum result and Britain should leave the European Union but we need to make sure that workers’ rights and our economy are protected. I don’t trust the Tories on workers’ rights or on creating and maintaining an economy that works in the interests of ordinary people in places like East Leeds. Also, Boris Johnson and his mates promised £350 million extra per week for our NHS in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU and they’ve broken that promise too! I want that extra £350 million per week for our hospitals!


Question 2: Are you in line with the anti Corbyn ‘rebel’ MP’s or the pro Corbyn party rank and file?
Richard Burgon MP: People were sick and tired of the type of approach to politics personified by Tony Blair. I support Jeremy Corbyn because he always says what he thinks and isn’t a ‘career politician’ or in it to make himself rich. He’s involved in politics for the right reasons. Places like East Leeds have been let down and left behind by the kind of economic policy that has ruled the roost in Britain since 1979. We need better public services, truly affordable homes to buy, more council houses, an NHS publicly owned and properly funded, accessible education, good and well paid skilled and manufacturing jobs and more rights for self-employed workers. Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would mean East Leeds would be better off and people here would have more money in their pocket, more opportunities and a better standard of living.


Question 3: As a single woman who works in Leeds town centre, I’ve had unwanted advances from ‘foreign looking men’ on more than one occasion in the last few months. I’m not a ‘little Englander’ I have foreign friends from Romania and Poland and also count some Islamic people as friends, however, after the mass groping/assaults in Germany, how can the Labour Party advocate an open door policy to cultures that are so different than our own, especially when the Brexit vote quite clearly was a vote against immigration.


Richard Burgon MP: The police should be informed of instances of sexual assault – whether the perpetrator was born abroad or whether the perpetrator was born here and has a knighthood or is considered highly ‘respectable’.
I don’t support what some describe as an “open door” immigration policy and neither does the Labour Party. I was – and am – very concerned at the way unscrupulous bosses use the ‘free movement of labour’ in the European Union to create a race to the bottom in pay and in workers’ terms and conditions. That has to end. I do believe Government has to listen to what the Brexit vote says about people’s experience of the way the free movement of labour has been used by bosses out to maximise their profits regardless of how that hurts workers and communities.
On a separate note, the issue of asylum seekers is a separate issue from the EU’s ‘free movement of labour’ and I do believe countries have a moral duty to take their fair share of asylum seekers fleeing torture, death and war. But we need to make sure that richer areas of our country take their fair share of asylum seekers too – it’s not right for poorer areas to be expected to accommodate far more asylum seekers than posh areas represented by top Tories.
Whatever the Prime Minister says, out in the real world we know there is an underfunding of our public services and a shortage of good jobs, affordable homes, council houses and opportunities. But this isn’t because of asylum seekers fleeing war, torture and death. It’s because of the Conservative Government’s political decision to impose savage cuts on places like East Leeds. It’s not economically necessary and it’s not morally right.


Richard Burgon is the Labour MP for East Leeds and the
Shadow Justice Secretary in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet.
You can contact him on 0113 2323266, Email:
Follow him on Twitter (@richardburgon) and
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  1. Could a Labour government work with Donald Trump?

  2. Brexit, Trump, possibly Marine Le Pen? The world as we know it is shifting to the right…Do you sometimes think your brand of 1970’s student protest politics is a tad out of date?

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