Give Labour's poster boy Sadiq a conference speech, Corbyn urged

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Jeremy Corbyn faced growing calls today to ensure Sadiq Khan addresses delegates at Labour’s annual rally.

The Mayor of London is not scheduled to give a speech from the platform at the party’s conference in Brighton this month.

But Labour MPs are urging Mr Corbyn to guarantee Mr Khan a high-profile slot.

Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq is hoping the conference organisers will find time for the Mayor to deliver a speech.

She said: “If they were to neglect to ask the electorally most successful Labour politician along and his Manchester counterpart, Andy Burnham, Metro Mayor of Manchester, I’m sure the people of those two great cities would find that a curious oversight.”   

Harrow West Labour MP Gareth Thomas added: “I hope a solution can be found and that Sadiq, as Labour’s most powerful elected politician, can be heard by delegates, not least as it’s a particularly important time to make the case for more funding for public services in London and elsewhere.”

Mr Khan, named yesterday as GQ’s politician of the year, angered some Corbyn supporters with his speech last year when he stressed the importance of Labour in power “not just talking the talk, but walking the walk too”. But Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, chairman of the London Group of Labour MPs, has warned that denying the London Mayor a speech this year would be a “terrible snub”.

Labour party chiefs are seeking to give delegates at conference a greater say in the proceedings and no final decision has yet been made on the line-up of speakers.

The main speakers are set to be Mr Corbyn, shadow chancellor John McDonnell, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer — all of them London MPs.


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