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Tue, 31 March 2020

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By Hft
By Dods General Election Hub 2019

Richard Burgon: Next Labour leader can't drop 'single' manifesto policy without membership backing

Richard Burgon: Next Labour leader can't drop 'single' manifesto policy without membership backing
2 min read

Richard Burgon has warned the next Labour leader not to drop any of the party's manifesto pledges without getting the greenlight from members.

The deputy leadership hopeful said the next Labour leader would not have a "mandate" to drop a "single socialist policy" from the party's previous two manifestos without first consulting the membership.

It came as the Shadow Justice Secretary defended Jeremy Corbyn and floated a Shadow Cabinet return for the current leader, saying he had a "long political career" ahead of him.

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge programme, Mr Burgon said he was "proud" of the party's manifesto which he claimed held "solutions to many...problems" across the country.

"The socialist policies in the manifesto were not the reason we lost the general election," he said.

"It wasn't because of the £10-an-hour minimum wage, taking rail, mail and water into public ownership that we lost the general election. We lost the general because it became the Brexit election that Boris Johnson wanted."

And he urged the next leader of the party not to make substantial changes to the document without first consulting the party's membership.

"Even in the aftermath of this devastating defeat, we can't drop our socialist policies. We can't drop our anti-austerity economics," he said.

"That is why I am clear that whoever is elected leader of the Labour Party, they don't have a mandate to ditch a single one of those socialist policies in the last two manifestos without the express permission of Labour members."

The comments come after Mr Burgon told the Huffington Post it would be "ideal" if Mr Corbyn was appointed to the role of Shadow Foreign Secretary by the next party leader.

He told the website: "He is still young, of course, because [left wing US Presidential candidate] Bernie Sanders is nearly 10 years older. Who knows, he could come back?"

And he told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "It’s not the end for Jeremy Corbyn. He’s got a long political career ahead of him should he wish. He’s 10 years younger nearly than Bernie Sanders, who also has a big political career ahead of him. So I am sure that whatever Jeremy wants to do he's got a big contribution to make to our party."

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