|Member of Parliament
1 May 1997 – 6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Spencer Batiste|
|Succeeded by||Constituency Abolished|
22 April 1948 |
|Alma mater||Huddersfield Polytechnic
Carnegie College, Leeds
Colin Burgon was born in Leeds to Catholic, Labour-supporting parents. He was educated at St Charles R.C. Junior School and passed the eleven plus enabling him to attend St Michael's Catholic College in Woodhouse. In later life Burgon said that alighting the bus wearing a grammar school uniform in Gipton made him aware of the class system and made him "deplore structures that inherently deny opportunity to people".
On leaving school Burgon trained as a teacher at Carnegie College, Leeds, then studied at Huddersfield Polytechnic. Burgon worked as a History teacher at Foxwood High School (which later became East Leeds Family Learning Centre and was demolished in 2009) a deprived secondary school in the Seacroft area of East Leeds, where he was an active member of the NUT union. Burgon left teaching and the NUT in 1987 to work for Wakefield District Council as a local government policy and research officer. He was also a research officer with the GMB Union. Burgon is an honorary member of the National Union of Mineworkers and was made so after his support for the 1984-85 miners' strike. Prior to being an MP, Burgon worked with Elmet miners and their families both during and after the strike.
Burgon was the Election Agent for the Labour Party in Elmet in 1983 before being selected himself as the Labour candidate for Elemet. Burgon unsuccessfully contested Elmet in 1987 and 1992, losing both times to the incumbent Conservative Spencer Batiste.
In 1997, Burgon contested Elmet for the third time, finally defeating Batiste with an 8,779 majority. He was elected to sit on the Northern Ireland Select Committee in 2000, and the Home Affairs Select Committee in 2005. Burgon has also taken interest in socialism in South America, particularly in Venezuela. In May 2007, he wrote in The Guardian in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his government's controversial refusal to renew the broadcasting license of a television station that had been openly supportive of the coup against Chávez's elected government. Burgon is the current Chairman of Labour Friends of Venezuela. He is on the left of the Labour Party and has vociferously criticised what he calls the "neo-liberal" policies of the party leadership. Burgon stood down from Parliament in 2010.
- Colin Burgon website
- Guardian Unlimited Politics – Ask Aristotle: Colin Burgon MP
- TheyWorkForYou.com – Colin Burgon MP
- BBC Politics
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Elmet
1997 – 2010