News, Culture & Society

ANDREW PIERCE: Leftie Richard Burgon’s secret life as a Tony Blair fan 

Former trade union lawyer Richard Burgon is the Jeremy Corbyn Continuity candidate to be Labour’s deputy leader. 

Yet the Shadow Justice Secretary has kept an embarrassing secret from his Corbynite supporters — he was a Tony Blair fan as a student.

In an interview with student newspaper Varsity in 2002, when he was chairman of the Labour group at Cambridge University, he backed the UK joining the euro. 

Former trade union lawyer Richard Burgon is the Jeremy Corbyn Continuity candidate to be Labour’s deputy leader

The policy was being advocated by Blair in the face of opposition from Labour Lefties led by one Jeremy Corbyn.

Backing Blair’s stance, Burgon said: ‘What matters most is what is best for British working people.’ 

Attacking Tory opposition to the euro, he said: ‘The airy-fairy theories that the Conservatives are giving are not relevant to people on the ground.

Yet the Shadow Justice Secretary has kept an embarrassing secret from his Corbynite supporters ¿ he was a Tony Blair fan as a student. The former PM is pictured above in 2006

Yet the Shadow Justice Secretary has kept an embarrassing secret from his Corbynite supporters — he was a Tony Blair fan as a student. The former PM is pictured above in 2006

‘What matters is whether people have jobs and I think the euro will improve this. Save the pound, lose your job!’

Yet Burgon has now moved full circle. Blaming Labour’s election defeat on backing a second referendum, he also says Blair should have been suspended from Labour because of his attacks on Corbyn.

He¿s declared an unpaid consultancy with Soak & Sleep, which sells bedding and duvets online

He’s declared an unpaid consultancy with Soak & Sleep, which sells bedding and duvets online

Hunt’s turning in…

As Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt jetted around the world meeting world leaders. 

Now on the backbenches, his life is more prosaic. 

He’s declared an unpaid consultancy with Soak & Sleep, which sells bedding and duvets online. 

Unkind Tory MPs were heard joking last week that Hunt is an ideal fit for the firm as his dreary speeches sent them into slumber. 

Sir Keir Starmer, the frontrunner to be next Labour leader, was asked on LBC: ‘What is the greater embarrassment for Labour? Not dealing with anti-Semitism properly or suspending Trevor Phillips, one of this country’s leading equalities campaigners?’ 

Starmer ignored the Phillips question. So much for leadership. 

Has the virus made Rishi rash? 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak, when a new backbench MP responding to George Osborne’s 2015 Budget, told the Commons: ‘One conclusion stands out: that by the end of this Parliament, under this Government, Britain will live within its means. No more irresponsible borrowing. No more spiralling debt at the taxpayers’ expense. No more passing the debt to the next generation.’ 

What a difference a deadly virus makes.

At a reception after the Budget, the Chancellor was asked how many hours he had slept the night before. 

‘Five and a half,’ came the answer, ‘the most since I started at the Treasury a month ago.’

His political heroine Margaret Thatcher would approve. She survived on four hours a night.

At a reception after the Budget, the Chancellor was asked how many hours he had slept the night before. ¿Five and a half,¿ came the answer, ¿the most since I started at the Treasury a month ago'

At a reception after the Budget, the Chancellor was asked how many hours he had slept the night before. ‘Five and a half,’ came the answer, ‘the most since I started at the Treasury a month ago’

Lord Birt, described as a ‘croak-voiced Dalek’ by playwright Dennis Potter during his reign of terror as BBC director-general in the 1990s, was a ghostly presence at the back of the room during current incumbent Lord Hall’s grilling last week by the Commons culture select committee. 

Perhaps Birt was boning up for a shock return? Headhunters have singularly failed to drum up heavy hitters to replace the departing Hall. 

In the last quarter of 2019, the Lib Dems unusually banked more cash from donors than the Labour Party. 

They amassed £13.6 million to Labour’s £10.6 million. Much good it did them. 

Jo Swinson, the party leader, lost her seat as the Lib Dems went backwards, not forwards, after their unpopular pitch to cancel Brexit was rejected by the voters. 

Launching his Break A Leg theatre tour (which could be hit by a ban on large gatherings due to coronavirus), quiz show panellist and author Gyles Brandreth has been reflecting on his time as a Tory MP. 

Brandreth, who represented Chester between 1992 and 1997, said: ‘By the time I was ready to stand for re-election, I knew I had contempt for my constituents. I was a bit shocked to find that the feeling was mutual.’ 

It’s why he stood down rather than face defeat. 

Quiz show panellist and author Gyles Brandreth has been reflecting on his time as a Tory MP

Quiz show panellist and author Gyles Brandreth has been reflecting on his time as a Tory MP

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk