Borough MP to stand down

Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham

Borough MP Andy Burnham will step down from the House of Commons after 16 years as representative for Leigh even if he loses out in the mayoral elections.

The former Labour cabinet minister is favourite to become Greater Manchester’s first metro mayor and had previously said he would step down as an MP if he won the vote next month.

However, Mr Burnham has now clarified that even if he is beaten to the mayoral role he will not re-stand for Parliament.

The result for the mayoral vote will be announced on May 5 with the deadline for candidate lists for the general election, on June 8, falling on May 11.

Mr Burnham’s decision means Labour will be nominating a new candidate in Leigh for the first time since 2001.

Front-runners from within the local party are thought to be council cabinet members Jo Platt and Keith Cunliffe who both represent ward inside the Leigh constituency boundary.

Currently the cabinet member for young people, Coun Platt has risen quickly through the ranks since being first elected to the chamber in 2012.

Colleague Coun Cunliffe, who represents Leigh East, is the cabinet member for adult and social care has been a councillor since 2008.

The snap general election was called on Tuesday by Prime Minister Theresa May who received backing from the House of Commons on Wednesday.

With the Prime Minister needing the support of 434 MPs - two thirds of all seats in the chamber, some 522 voted for the early election, with just 13 against.

Mr Burnham is odds-on favourite to land the region’s mayoral role ahead of rivals Sean Anstee (Conservative), Jane Brophy (Liberal Democrats), Will Patterson (Green), Shneur Odze (Ukip), Marcus Farmer (Independent), Mohammed Aslam (Independent) and Stephen Morris (English Democrats).