John Burton (political agent)

John Burton was a Labour Party councillor in County Durham, England. He was a member of Sedgefield Borough Council, representing the ward of Fishburn and Old Trimdon.[1] However, he is most notable for being the constituency agent of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who represented the Sedgefield constituency from 1983 until standing down as Prime Minister in 2007.

Relationship with Tony Blair

Burton was one of the first to spot the potential of the young Tony Blair.[2] When the new Sedgefield constituency was created for the 1983 general election, which included Burton's home of Trimdon, the local Labour Party found themselves needing to appoint a candidate for the forthcoming election at short notice.[3] Blair, then a London-based barrister, identified Burton as a branch secretary willing to consider his candidature and travelled to Trimdon (Burton's power base) to put his case. Blair secured the nomination, was elected an MP and began his political rise.[4] Burton has remained one of Blair's inner circle. In the Sedgefield Council Register of Members' Interests, Burton also listed himself as Political Assistant to Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, MP Myrobella House, Farfield Terrace, Trimdon Station, Co. Durham, TS29 6DU.

The Sunday newspaper The Observer reported in December 2007 that Burton planned to write a book about Tony Blair, focusing on his faith.[5] However, to date, this has not materialised.

Personal life

According to Sedgefield Council's Register of Members' Interests, Burton is a member of the Transport and General Workers' Union, a church warden, and a governor of Trimdon College. He was formerly a physical education teacher.[6] He is, unlike the Newcastle-supporting Blair, a devoted fan of Sunderland A.F.C..


  1. ^ "Councillor Details - Councillor John Burton". Sedgefield Borough Council. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  2. ^ Description of first meeting Archived 2007-06-24 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Rentoul, John (2001). Tony Blair: Prime Minister. Little Brown. p117 ISBN 0-316-85496-4.
  4. ^ Rawnsley, Andrew (2000). Servants of the People: The Inside Story of New Labour. Hamish Hamilton. p98 ISBN 0-241-14029-3
  5. ^ Oliver Marre (2007-12-09). "Will Tony's change of faith go for a Burton?". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  6. ^ Nigel Burton (2007-11-14). "Tony Blair launches new NE initiative". Northern Echo. Retrieved 2008-03-14.

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