Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham face being frozen out of Labour conference as members push for more time

The Sun 15 months ago

SADIQ KHAN and Andy Burnham face being frozen out of Labour conference this year as members push for more airtime to debate their own issues.

Jeremy Corbyn, plus four top members of his shadow cabinet, are set for “starring” roles at Brighton’s annual gathering at the end of September.

Sadiq Khan is still trying to arrange to speak at conference

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also could be left out

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer are set to be fronting the conference.

It will be a chance for the Labour leader to celebrate his party winning an extra 30 seats in last month’s election.

Other shadow ministers are set to speak, but are reported to have had their times cut compared to recent years.

But the London Mayor has not yet been asked to speak, and Andy Burnham is also facing being squeezed out, HuffPost UK reported.

The party, which has seen an influx of members since Mr Corbyn took to the helm in 2015, is now far more driven by its members.

Mr Corbyn has repeatedly said he wants members to have more of a say in how the party is run.

After seeing their membership nearly triple, it’s thought that more time will be spent for members to debate issues rather than have all the shadow ministers make speeches.

Despite polls suggesting Mrs May crush Corbyn, there will be no General Election before 2020

Jeremy Corbyn at least year’s conference

Leaflets distributed at a Momentum event at last year’s conference

John McDonnell speaking at a fringe festival last year

Both Mr Khan and Mr Burnham have been critical of Mr Corbyn in the past – and have attempted to distance themselves from his leadership.

They both have huge mandates from the people – but supporters of the leader could want payback for their past comments.

Labour MP Mike Gapes said it would be “absurd” if Mr Khan didn’t speak.

But party sources said the lineup was not yet finalised.
A source told the Evening Standard: “Arrangements for conference have not been finalised but there is a strong enthusiasm for opening it up more to our members, who played such a vital role in the general election campaign.”

This year will see the second time Corbyn supporting group Momentum will organise a fringe conference – after the success of last year’s The World Transformed festival.

Last year thousands attended more than 100 events at the 4-day politics, art, music and culture festival.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Corbyn ally Paul Mason and film director Ken Loach are all set to attend the events in a range of venues – from a former church to a concert hall.

MPs on the list this year include Jonathan Ashworth, Dawn Butler, Clive Lewis, Lisa Nandy and Chris Williamson, among others.

Jeremy Corbyn asked about his plans to become Prime Minister by seven-year-old girl at Whitaker Museum in Rossendale, Lancashire

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