YOUNG pretender Richard Burgon swept to victory in Leeds East with a massive 12,500 majority, and promised to carry on the legacy of people’s politician George Mudie.
He also follows in the footsteps of his uncle Colin Burgon, who represented Elmet from 1997 to 2010.
Burgon used his winning speech to pay tribute to his supporters and family, but also took time to reflect on the Labour party’s disappointing night nationally.
“It’s disappointing to see the results coming through,” he said.
“I wanted to see a Labour Government to save our NHS from privatisation , to abolish the bedroom tax which affects 1,499 homes in East Leeds alone. I wanted a Labour Government in order to increase the minimum wage and make society fairer.
“We are not going to get a Labour majority Government and that makes me sad. Not for any personal ambitions, but because I think that would be in the best interests of the people of East Leeds.”
He was in no doubt that Ed Miliband should stay on as leader.
“He shook up the debate and has made the right calls to take on powerful vested interests,” the new MP said,
“I believe he was correct to take on the bankers, I believe he was correct to take on the energy companies, he was correct to take on Rupert Murdoch and the Sun newspaper, and he was correct to disagree with President Obama’s call to take military action in Syria.
“Ed Miliband has taken decisions that are in the interests of the majority so I want to see him stay on.”
He said that after regrouping, the party now has to “battle” what will be tough Conservative policies.
He thanked the people of East Leeds and said he was “delighted” to be representing them.
And paying further tribute to his predecessor, who stepped down this year, he said: “George Mudie has been a fantastic servant for ordinary people in East Leeds and across Leeds.
“He has served our area for 40 years, first as a councillor and then leader of the council and then as our MP.
“Everywhere I go people speak highly of George because they know he was in politics for the right reasons, not to feather his own nest, but because he embodied a real ethos of public service. It is a legacy I want to continue. We need more people like George Mudie in politics.”