Sadiq Khan faces speech snub at Labour party conference

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Sadiq Khan could be snubbed at this year’s party conference, it was claimed today.

The London Mayor has not yet been asked to speak at next month’s event in Brighton. 

Ex-Labour MP Andy Burnham, now mayor of Greater Manchester, is also due to be squeezed from the timetable, according to a report today in HuffPost UK.

Chair of London Group of Labour MPs Wes Streeting said it would be a “terrible snub” not to have Mr Khan speaking considering he is among the most prominent politicians in the party. 

It is understood that all of Labour’s high profile speakers will have their speech times curbed.

But leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer will all get time on stage. 

The conference is set to be one of the largest since the 1980s following the near tripling of Labour membership in the past two years. 

A Labour source said party members have long wanted more time for grassroots activists to speak from the floor of the conference, and to spend less time listening to politicians from the platform.

“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,” the source said.

Mr Khan spoke at last year’s Labour conference in Liverpool, and Boris Johnson spoke at every Conservative conference when he was Mayor of London. 

There is set to be one more meeting of conference organisers in September when the timetable will be officially finalised.

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, said Mr Khan needed to speak at conference of the looming borough elections.

He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. He’d the most successful Labour politician with the highest personal mandate of any Labour politician in this country. It would be absurd if he didn’t speak.”

Hammersmith MP, Andy Slaughter, said: “Of course Sadiq should have a leading role at conference.”

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