Richard Burden
Richard Burden has been the Labour MP for Birmingham Northfield since 1992.

Richard is the Shadow Minister for Strategic Transport Networks, with responsibility for aviation, Strategic Road Networks, future transport, road and intermodal safety and international shipping. He was previously Labour's Shadow Minister overseeing local transport and a member of the House of Commons International Development Committee.

Richard currently chairs the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, which seeks to foster good relations and understanding between Britain and Palestine and to promote a just and durable peace in the Middle East. He also chairs the Jordan All-Party Group and is the Vice Chair of Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East.

Richard has had an active interest in the Middle East since writing his university dissertation and visits the area at least once a year to see for himself the situation on the ground and to meet key players. He regularly speaks on this issue in Parliament as well as writing articles and commenting on developments.

Entries by Richard Burden

Foodbank Britain at Christmas

(9) Comments | Posted December 24, 2015 | 7:00 PM

In the last month my team and I have referred about the same number of people to the foodbank for assistance as we did in the ten months before that.


Last week, I called in to say hello at Northfield's local...

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VW Emissions Affair: UK Drivers are being left in the dark due to mixed messages from Ministers

(1) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 10:07 AM

The UK Government must come clean on what they knew and move quicker to end uncertainty for drivers.

Almost a month after Volkswagen's use of "defeat devices" to evade regulatory emissions limits in the USA became known, it is clear that the implications here in the UK, are just as...

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Why the Future of Labour Has to Be About More Than Comfort Food

(2) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 6:48 AM

So the deadline has now passed for people to register as Labour supporters to have a vote in the Labour Leadership election. Amid stories of malign infiltration by some Tories and others, Labour is right to check the genuineness of applications before ballot papers are issued.

But let's be clear,...

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The Impact of Calais on Traffic in Kent Is a Symptom of Long-term Issues That Demand Better Than Short-term Fixes by Government

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 1:00 PM

It's not only in politics that a week is a long time. Last week our TV screens were dominated by scenes long queues of stationary lorries stacked up along the M20; of holiday makers stuck in jams; of residents unable to get out of nearby Kent villages and of local...

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Government Complacency Means Further Chaos Looms for Drivers

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 8:12 AM

New Government, same problems.

This week saw the final abolition of the 'Counterpart Driving Licence' - the green paper sheet holding a drivers' convictions and entitlements. It has been replaced with an online database, the 'MyLicence' system. The change was promised by the former Coalition to cut costs and...

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Labour Has a Better Plan to Fix 'Pothole Britain' and Boost Cycling and Walking

(12) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 5:32 AM

A recent survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists found that 70% of people think that the growing pothole problem on our local roads should be the Government's number one priority for helping road users. Over the last five years, our local roads have been allowed to deteriorate to a...

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Talking Immigration

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 7:45 AM

Last Thursday (29 January) I welcomed constituents to Northfield Talks, a public discussion held at Northfield Baptist Church to talk about the early findings of a survey I launched on immigration, to hear local peoples' concerns on the issue.

The idea to hold the survey and event were...

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By Voting Today for Recognition of Palestine, MPs Will Vote for Equality and for Peace

(11) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Today I will cast my vote in Parliament to support UK recognition of the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel.

The principle at stake here is a simple but key one for anyone seeking a just a durable solution to the conflict in the Middle East. Do we...

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Chaotic Government Funding Fails to Fix Pothole Epidemic

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 4:41 AM

Ludicrous. A lottery. These are just some of the terms being used to describe the Government's approach to roads maintenance, after the Public Accounts Committee issued a damning report into funding arrangements this week.

The all-party committee of MPs responsible for scrutinising public spending have concluded...

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Iraq - Urgent Action Needed to Stop Slaughter and Time to Face Up to the Big Picture Too

(4) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 8:00 PM

Nobody can fail to have been affected by the TV images that we have seen of Yazidis stranded without shelter on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq. The brutal persecution of Yezidis, Christian, Shia Turkmen and other minorities by The Islamic State Group (formerly known as ISIS) is nothing short of...

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Gaza: Why Outrage Isn't Enough

(15) Comments | Posted August 4, 2014 | 8:00 PM

UK ministers always seem to preface what they say about the crisis in Gaza by acknowledging Israel's right to self defence against attack. I agree with them about that. Actually, the Palestinians have the right of self defence too. The point is that neither can credibly be invoked to justify...

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Syria - Where Will It Go From Here? Why I Disagree With Those Urging Imminent Military Intervention

(1) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 2:36 PM

I've discovered that a driving holiday in rural central France with intermittent internet access is not the best way to hear that Parliament has been imminently recalled, or the best place from which to act on the information. Result? The logistics of getting back in time have beaten me and...

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Government Must Fuel UK Automotive Ambition

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 11:16 AM

Just a few weeks ago, the world's fiercest and fastest racing drivers returned to Silverstone for what turned out to be a thrilling British Grand Prix. While our exceptional British drivers have had mixed fortunes on the track this season, for me the return of Formula One to our shores...

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UK Should Drop the Double Standards and Say an Unequivocal Yes to UN Recognition of Palestine

(26) Comments | Posted November 28, 2012 | 4:27 AM

This week the United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote on upgrading the recognition of Palestine at the UN.

The UK government is saying it may vote in favour - but only if Palestinian president Abbas promises not to apply for membership of the International Criminal Court...

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Gaza: Leaders Play to the Gallery, the Innocent Suffer But Will the International Community Act?

(6) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 4:18 AM

And so it spirals once again. Hamas fires rockets into Southern Israel, growling, Russell Crowe-like, that Israel's actions have 'opened the gates of Hell.' Israel strikes Gaza by air and sea, the Israeli army taking to Twitter to "recommend that no Hamas operative, whether low level or senior leaders, show...

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Building on the Success of the Automotive Industry

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 5:22 AM

On Sunday, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was won in a Red Bull, one of the eight F1 teams based here in the UK. And whilst I don't want to take anything away from Mark Webber's Australian pedigree, he too lives here in Britain.

As well as...

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Time to Rethink the Bahrain Grand Prix

(13) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 8:00 PM

Damon Hill is right to call on the governing body of motor sport to rethink its decision to go ahead with this year's Bahrain Grand Prix. I say that as someone who is a motor sport nut as well as an MP with a keen interest in the Middle East.

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Why the Sudden Israel-Gaza Escalation?

(150) Comments | Posted March 11, 2012 | 8:00 PM

I was last in Gaza almost exactly three years ago. I was part of one of the first groups of MPs to enter after Israel's Operation Cast Lead. which left over 1,300 Palestinians dead, the majority of them civilians and 352 of them children. Over 5,000 more were...

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Israel Release 55 But 106 Palestinian Children Remain in Jail as Shackling Continues

(69) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 7:00 PM

On Sunday, Israel released 550 Palestinian prisoners, the second and final phase of the prisoner swap which secured the release of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in October.

Israel reserved the right to make the final decision on which Palestinian prisoners to release, and which should remain in jail. Not surprisingly...

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Understanding Why the Prisoner Exchange Matters

(50) Comments | Posted October 23, 2011 | 8:00 PM

In political terms I guess I am one of the 'usual suspects' when it comes to the Middle East. I chair the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group and have campaigned for the rights of Palestinians for decades.

Perhaps it is especially important that people like me understand why the five...

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