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Why I support Jeremy Corbyn - Richard Burgon



The attempt to remove the Leader of the Labour Party without an election by trying to force him to resign has shocked, saddened and angered many Labour Party members – including members who didn’t vote for Jeremy Corbyn last year.

These feelings were heightened further when, after that plan failed, an attempt was then made to undemocratically deny Labour Party members the just and fair opportunity to vote for the Leader of the Labour Party in the leadership election.


Labour Party members tell me they feel they have been treated with disrespect by people for whom they gave up their spare time for to help into Parliament. And members feel that attempts to retrospectively reduce the size of the electorate in the leadership election are unfair and driven by a desire to fix the outcome.

Manufacturing a leadership row has been a needless distraction that has let the Conservatives off the hook. Regardless of who Labour MPs wanted Labour members to elect as the Leader last year, Labour MPs have a responsibility to carry on working to hold a failing Conservative Government to account. We can’t go on strike from standing up for the people and communities we were elected to represent. I’m particularly proud of my Labour colleagues who – despite enormous pressure – have stepped up to the plate by uniting for Labour on the front bench. I’m also particularly proud of Labour MPs who – even though they supported different candidates in last year’s leadership election – have stood up for democracy and for respecting the rights of Labour Party members.

People will not be surprised that I will be supporting the Labour Party leader in the leadership election. I believe we need to keep the Labour Party leader to ensure that Labour goes forward, not back. I respect Labour MPs who, in this contest, will be taking a different view from me. The Labour Party has always been a coalition of socialists, social democrats and trade unionists. But I believe the Parliamentary Labour Party owes it to members, constituents and the country to now re-unite in taking the fight to the Government. It’s time for Labour MPs to calm down, take a deep breath and take on the Conservatives and play a full role in dealing with the huge challenges arising from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

The Labour Party national executive committee meeting on 12 July was a narrow escape for our Party. If the NEC decision had been to prevent members from being able to cast their vote for the Leader of the Labour Party in a leadership election brought by a challenger, then I believe 12 July would have gone down in history as a dark day for Labour Party democracy. I believe that it would have precipitated a formal split in the Labour Party in the country. And no socialist or social democrat in our party wants to see a split.

A publicly divided and inward-looking Parliamentary Labour Party doesn’t help the people and communities that the Labour Party was created to represent. I’m sad to say that those who initiated and orchestrated recent events aimed at removing the Leader of the Labour Party have hurt Labour in the polls and undermined the great work of Labour councillors and Labour volunteers the length and breadth of the country. They have also given a gift to the Conservative Government. This wasn’t necessary. There was nothing inevitable about it. This was a choice.

My choice is to support our party leader. He has delivered a membership expected to hit 600,000 – up from 180,000 at the general election. Victories across the UK. An apology to the people of Iraq, the British people and the families of our armed forces for the decision to invade. A track-record leaving no doubt that under his leadership Labour will continue to be an anti-austerity party. An ongoing demonstration that he has the extraordinary strength and determination required to withstand the pressure from an establishment which wants to block real change. The potential to lead the most positively reforming Labour Government since that of Clement Attlee. For these reasons, and others, my choice is to support the leader of the Labour Party.


Richard Burgon MP - Shadow Justice Secretary


This article was first published in Labour List

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commented 2016-07-20 11:25:47 +0100

He shouldn’t have to fight against litigation from private money interests who want him off – this is a direct assault on OUR democracy and should be illegal.
Any Labour MPs supporting this action would be tainted forever.
commented 2016-07-17 13:17:00 +0100
Hi David – I wouldn’t call that denigration I see it as fair comment and pretty well substantiated by the facts. A lot of people think the “coup” was highly organised and utterly un-democratic. I think they were talked into by PR “experts” and some may now be regretting their resignations.

But denigrating what politicians do or have done is OK (within reason – no personal comments etc)) – that’s what we are here for – to keep them on their toes!
In fact nobody has had more denigration than Corbyn.
What we must avoid is falling out amongst ourselves!
commented 2016-07-17 11:51:57 +0100
Dear David
The blog rules are on the opening page of the blog section – you click on blog rules.

Here they are again:
1.Be polite & courteous to everyone.
2.Be civil. No personal attacks.
3.1 account per person. Please add your first and surname to posts.
4.Discuss the issue and respect the person with a different view.
5.No spam. No personal disrespectful comments. No trolling.
6. Find ways of stating what we will do – be positive.

RM CLP Secretary
commented 2016-07-17 11:45:53 +0100

Exploring the posts do point to mainly a discussion but with some denigrations "They’ve given up on leadership and have resorted to heavy handed bullying techniques, organised smears, choreographed defections and so on. " being one random example of denigration I spotted. The use of CAPITALS by one or two is probably just poor etiquette but reminds me of the UKIP postings in the Daily Mail which seem to have stopped. I think that despite my vote then Jeremy will probably win by the way with a weakened mandate and a split PLP and Theresa May will call a General Election and will cruise to a victory with her party’s interpretation of BREXIT “mandated”. De-selection calls will only further destabilise the party, some of theses deselected will stand as independents and further erode the vote. If Jeremy resigned on honourable terms this could be avoided, the PLP won’t change significantly so unless he does then we will watch a slow motion train crash. My frustration is that you all must see the same outcome but will not change your strategy to avoid it. It is easier to change one leader than 172 MPs. But none of us will change our minds so the people who are the real victims, the marginalised and disenfranchised will suffer further. I only got introduced to this blog because of Jyotis mail asking to extend the privilages of Union membership to that community and here I see a debate whose outcome will worsen their position despite the wish to improve it. Without electoral victory then there is no agenda, Labour needs well over 10 million votes spread evenly and they have to come from the centre. I guess I have long ago exhausted my say. Good luck and I hope I am wrong!
commented 2016-07-17 10:53:50 +0100
David – disagreeing isn’t denigrating other’s opinions! It’s just discussion – the more the merrier in my opinion.
commented 2016-07-17 10:30:17 +0100
Firstly may I answer Rosemary’s comments on the naming conventions on this site. I value my privacy and at no point in signing up for this blog was that restriction made. A desire for privacy is not the same as anonymity and the CLP has my full details. Although not the driver, which is my family, the reasons for the current restrictions on local meetings by the NEC should be sufficient.

To turn to Jacob’s response, my view on Jeremy Corbyn is an opinion of mine and Jacobs refutation is an opinion of his not a set of facts as he wrongly represents. An opinion cannot be changed into a fact by vehemence which we all. need to recognise in ourselves and others. My opinion is at least as strongly held as Jacob’s but the communities which share them appear to be different. Mine is shared by the 172 democratically elected MP’s who passed a vote of no confidence in Jeremy. Jacob’s views are held by a significant number of members of various CLP’s throughout the country. To denigrate either community because you do not share their opinion is wrong and all of us should stand above that. MPs do communicate with their constituents, CLP members will also talk to people outside the party. The position of leader looks to be resolved by the election later this year although I doubt if the result will change many opinions which will be sad. My opinion is that Jeremy should have stood down once he lost the support of his fellow MP’s, I cannot imagine any other institution where that would not happen. I have even seen a friend of mine, the owner of a successful company, having to resign when he lost the confidence of his team..

The position of the people who finally count, the British electorate, will only transpire if and when there is a general election. However the two recent polls from COMRES and IPSO MORI indicate that the electorate seem to share my views on Jeremy as a leader. However they are polls and even if accurate will change overtime.

Meanwhile the government appears to be moving to the right with the appalling comments on future EU migrants being returned by David Davies further evidence today. They have taken the Brexit vote as an indication that the electorate is moving to the right so they can. Labour now needs a new leader capable of addressing both the left and centre and she should get on hoovering up the middle ground being deserted by the conservatives.. An opinion by the way.

None of this will change any of our respective views so probably a useless sharing but it has helped me understand more about the CLP.
commented 2016-07-16 22:57:19 +0100
“(the 172)….they felt their constituents would not support Jeremy as a potential PM.”

Have they consulted them? I doubt it. If they did I think they’d find majority support for Corbyn, judging by the various CLP comments to date. A number of CLPs are muttering about de-selection etc. They are not happy

“(Corbyn)….an individual who has failed to exhibit effective leadership”

This statement is obviously completely contrary to all the facts:
We have ineffective and collapsed leadership all around; Cameron, Boris, Gove, Farage, Leadsom, 172 PLP MPs.
Labour Party management – given the gift of massive new membership and enthusiasm, has also failed in leadership and managed to insult and annoy them all by withdrawing voting rights.
These are all failed leaders or would-be-leaders who have ducked out. We know all about failed leadership, we see it all around us.

In the meantime Corbyn has resolutely pursued the agenda supported by the majority of the membership, calm and confident under pressure, immune to attacks from the right wing press and politicians (including the 172) and showing every sign of being a strong and determined leader.
commented 2016-07-16 21:58:31 +0100
Dear David

Thank you for your comments – you may not be aware but this CLP nominated Jeremy Corbyn both initially and also very recently.

When we appeared on Newsnight we asked both those in favour and against his continuing as our leader.

There is also the consideration that he is not reported accurately in the press and sometimes we therefore need to share additional information through the website.

“Three-quarters of newspaper stories about Jeremy Corbyn fail to accurately report his views, LSE study finds – Academics at LSE analysed months of newspaper articles about the Labour leader” in the Independent.

We put these articles up for discussion and debate to ensure that all members can express their views. You will note that there are some robust debates and we try to ensure that everyone follows the blog rules – although sometimes it is hards to keep up with all posts. We are all volunteers with other lives to lead.

Please feel free to submit a blog at any time for consideration. We do have an editing process.

If you look back there are many blogs on this web site, with a wide range of topics, most of which have been submitted by local members.

As the Leadership election unfolds we will be putting information on here about the three contenders.

Regards RM CLP Secretary

PS Please note we ask contributors to use their surname and first name on their posts
commented 2016-07-16 19:38:07 +0100
While I respect Richard’s right to his views I think he has drawn the wrong conclusions from his analysis, the 173 members of the PLP who voted for a no-confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership reflected a range of view but they felt their constituents would not support Jeremy as a potential PM. Those constituents contain a significant majority of the 9,437,326 who voted Labour at the last general election and have given the MP’s the mandate to represent them in Parliament. That is a democratic mandate of significant proportions. Jeremy’s failure on the EU referendum has brought this view to the fore for many of us. The MP’s are rightly concerned that continuing with an individual who has failed to exhibit effective leadership on the biggest stage since his election makes them ill prepared to face a possible general election in the near future. It is essential that Labour has a leadership that can persuade the country that they are a party of government and the performance in the referendum has not achieved this. Leadership means working with all parts of the country and electorate bringing them along with you. As Jeremy has failed on this with the PLP then he clearly will with the country. Facing a divided country, a significant element of the media showing hostility and a party of government who has a newly energised leadership requires qualities which have not been on display. Firing up people with like minded ideas is easy, bringing over people with very different views is much harder. There is a real opportunity here, a larger proportion of the British public has just voted nearly 34 million, over 4 million has signed an online petition. We need a leadership who can capitalise on this renewed interest in democracy. At the moment it is difficult to assess who of the current potential candidates have the necessary skills but it has become clear Jeremy has not, if he cannot persuade his own MP’s then he will not persuade the country. We need a leader not only of principle but also effective in winning the country.

We need to widen the debate on this blog to include the views of those who support a change of leader not only in the response sections but in the selection of articles which at the moment are not there. All seem to be supporting Jeremy and none putting forward the alternative view. That is not debate where you put only one viewpoint then request comment on it. Put both viewpoints and get comments on both! Let’s see that diversity please.

A returning member

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