Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon misses out on star billing at Labour conference.
Obiter decided to leave our London-based ivory tower and trek up to Liverpool to mingle with Labour MPs and activists at the annual party conference. We were certainly busy, so much so we feared we would miss shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon’s appearance on the main conference stage.
Surely such a doughty campaigner – and Corbynite ultra - would be granted a prime slot, especially with access to justice belatedly moving up the political agenda? But a quick scan of the schedule showed no main-stage billing for the member for Leeds East and former Thompsons solicitor. We asked the press office, to be told Burgon wasn’t on. A puzzled Obiter asked if justice would be making any showing in the main conference hall, only to be told it might feature under the topic ‘Security at home and abroad’, on which shadow home secretary Diane Abbott would be speaking. Instead, the shadow justice secretary had to be content with tub-thumping at fringe events, where he announced big ambitions to support law centres as ‘engines of empowerment for working-class communities’. That slogan would surely have gone down well in front of a bigger people’s party crowd.