By Declan Carey
LABOUR’S Richard Burgon has accused the government of costing thousands of lives by putting its own interests before the country, and called for unity on the left to remove the Tories from power.
The Leeds East MP, attended the People’s Assembly national demonstration on Saturday June 26 alongside former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Labour MP Zarah Sultana.
Speaking exclusively to Redaction Report, Burgon explained how people in the country are angry at the government’s handling of the pandemic, which he believes cost thousands of lives unnecessarily.
He said: “People are very angry at the Tories because they see that the Tories have feathered their own nest in government during this crisis.
“The scandal of the coronavirus crony contracts is quite appalling and then of course is the whole issue of the disastrous way they have handled the coronavirus crisis.
“Tens of thousands of lives have been unnecessarily lost due to the Conservative’s mismanagement of this pandemic and that is absolutely appalling.”
Burgon was a member of the shadow cabinet under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, but Starmer did not offer him a front bench role after his election to the Labour leadership.
He is a part of the Socialist Campaign Group – a group of left-wing Labour MPs – and was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2020 Labour deputy leadership contest.
The Labour Party recently claimed victory over the Conservatives in the Batley and Spen by-election. However, Labour’s candidate in Batley and Spen, Kim Leadbeater, sister of former Labour MP Jo Cox who was murdered in a terror attack, won just 323 more votes than the Conservative candidate.
George Galloway, leader of the Workers Party of Britain, claimed more than 8,000 votes, while the Liberal Democrats fell behind with only 1,254 votes, around 3 per cent of the vote.
Speaking to Redaction Report at the People’s Assembly demonstration, Burgon added that Britain’s socialist movement needs to unite to stand up against the Tories.
He said: “Events like the People’s Assembly national demonstration bring people together from different campaigns to campaign against injustice and for a better future.
“Whether it is ending fire and rehire, having a decent minimum wage that people can actually live on, ending crony coronavirus contracts, all of these demands bring our movement together.
“A movement united against the Tories is more important than ever before because it is clear that the Tories are simply not fit to govern.
“We can’t just wait until the next general election, we need to build a mass movement against what the Tories are doing to our society because they have used this crisis to further their own agenda and we can’t let them get away with that.”
The Cabinet Office was contacted for comment.
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