As Richard Burgon goes on the attack over G4S prisons following the Birmingham prison riot, the shadow justice secretary was caused some embarrassment yesterday when it was revealed that he had recently accepted hospitality from the firm. Guido reports that Burgon attended a G4S bash with an unnamed female companion at the Southbank Centre in November put on to showcase prison art.
So, just who was his companion that night? Mr S can reveal that it was the NUS’s Shelly Asquith who accompanied Burgon to the bash. Burgon is said to be very close indeed to Asquith, who is Vice President Welfare at the student union, working with NUS president Malia Bouattia.
— Momentum Calderdale (@MomentumCald) October 30, 2016
Earlier this year Asquith found herself in the Mail following an investigation into links between CAGE and NUS figures regarding opposition to the Prevent strategy, part of the government’s counter- terrorism strategy. As part of the investigation, Asquith was quoted as saying ‘there are some laws that should be broken’:
‘The government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values which is breaking the rule of law. Well, I think there are some laws that should be broken.’
Mr S suspects that not everyone will take so kindly to the shadow justice secretary bringing a guest who thinks ‘some laws should be broken’ to a prison event.
Update: It seems Burgon and Asquith’s relationship is going from strength to strength. The Mail on Sunday reports that the pair recently enjoyed a trip to Berlin where they posed by a Karl Marx statue. That’s love.