Burgin trained as a solicitor specialising in international law and served as principal and director of legal studies to the Law Society. He contested Hornsey four times and East Ham North once, without success.
In the 1929 general election Burgin was elected as Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Luton. Along with other Liberal MPs he joined the Liberal Nationals in 1931 and was made a Charity Commissioner. In 1932 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade. He was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1937 Coronation Honours.
In 1937 Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appointed Burgin as Minister of Transport. Two years later he was appointed as the first Minister of Supply in April 1939. As the post had not yet been established in law, he formally served as Minister without Portfolio for the first three months. His appointment was aimed to appeal to liberal minded opinion but was criticised as being inappropriate - A.J.P. Taylor described Burgin as being "another horse from Caligula's well-stocked stables" (a follow-up to contemporary remarks about the earlier appointment of Sir Thomas Inskip as Minister for Coordination of Defence). When Chamberlain was replaced by Winston Churchill, Burgin was not included in the new ministry.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Leslie Burgin
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Luton
|Minister of Transport
|New title||Minister of Supply
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