Richard Burgon praises Labour Live event as he calls for more party-backed festivals

Written by Total Politics on 25 February 2020 in Diary
Diary

Richard Burgon has praised the loss-making music event and called for even more major party-run events.

The deputy leadership candidate said he was glad the party had put on the one-day music event despite admitting it "could have been more of a success".

The event, held in North London in 2018, was widely mocked as a flop after only 13,000 turned up for the 20,000 capacity event, even after thousands of free tickets were given away by unions.

The summer bash saw headline acts from bands such as Clean Bandit, and political speeches from Jeremy Corbyn and senior Labour figures, but the party's treasurer was eventually forced to admit the event had ended up losing cash.

But in an interview with LabourList, Mr Burgon said the event was the "kind of thing" they needed to do more of.

Pointing to the successful Festival of Humanity in France, which is organised by a newspaper linked to the Communist party, he said: "I think Labour Live was a good idea.

"Obviously, it could have been more of a success, but I'm glad that it was tried. There's no shame in trying it. It shows the kind of thing we need to be doing going forward."

And in a bid to shake-up the party's membership, the Shadow Justice Secretary also called for a "proper Labour Party podcast" and a "decent Labour Party YouTube channel".

Meanwhile, Mr Burgon also floated the idea of "justice twinning" which would see local Labour groups linked with "places in the world that are facing injustice".

He said: "We could have CLPs twinning in places with occupied Kashmir, places in Colombia, where of course you get shot for being a trade unionist, with Palestinian villages in occupied territories."

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