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Richard Burgon’s greatest hits, 2015-2020

Richard Burgon's greatest hits, 2015-2020
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So long Richard Burgon. Yes, Keir Starmer has decided to 'stand down' the would-be firebrand. Since Jeremy Corbyn appointed him as a shadow minister in 2015, the dedicated socialist has been a regular source of entertainment to Westminster watchers. So it is with some sadness that Mr S sees him returned to the Labour backbenches. 

With that in mind, let's take a look at his greatest hits:

1. Burgon's bumbling response to anti-Zionism allegations

The former frontbencher took umbrage with newspaper suggestions that he had called Zionism the 'enemy of peace', claiming that he had never uttered those words. So he was left somewhat redfaced when footage emerged of him saying those exact words. 

2. Burley's Burgon putdowns 

The Leeds MP managed to find himself skewered by the Sky News anchor not once but twice in just one week. Fool me once, as they say...

3. Tony Benn political polytechnic, a revolutionary redtop and JezFest 2.0

During his doomed bid for the deputy leadership, Burgon pitched a series of left field policy proposals to the party blog Labour List. These ingenious proposals included the ominous sounding 'Tony Benn School of Political Education', a free tabloid newspaper published by the Labour party and a second stab at Labour Live - the party festival that ended up wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds. Given that Burgon was so keen on promoting his so-called 'peace pledge', Mr S wonders how long it will take before the spurned socialist goes to war with his new leader...

4. Burgon's unusual 'ovation' definition

It seems Richard may have a problem with his memory. At Labour's 2018 conference, the shadow minister was asked why had given a standing ovation when his fellow speaker called for a general strike, a claim which he initially denied. When pressed further on whether he had joined in with the 'standing ovation', Burgon continued to deny it, instead claiming that he had merely 'stood up and clapped'. 

5. Burgon's unintended confession

Never have truer words been uttered...

6. Burgon's failure to meet with City workers on the square mile while... shadow City minister

Burgon's unique approach to the role of shadow City minister came to light in a Channel 4 interview with Cathy Newman. 'I've got a very busy diary as you can imagine,' he replied when asked if he was yet to meet any City workers on the Square Mile.

He also had a loose grasp of the deficit:

CN: You say you're not a deficit denier so what is the deficit going to be this year?

RB: Well... err... I'm not an economic... I'm not somebody who is going to put a figure in a crystal ball of what exactly the deficit is going to be in a year

CN: Well you don't need a crystal ball, it's in the government's figures

RB: I think it will be higher than the government says it's going to be

Shine on you crazy diamond...

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk.

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