Burnham announces leadership bid

Leigh MP Andy Burnham who has announced a bid to become leader of the Labour Party
Leigh MP Andy Burnham who has announced a bid to become leader of the Labour Party

ANDY Burnham declared he is the man who can unite the country as he announced he is standing to be the leader of the Labour party.

The Leigh MP, who retained his seat last week, revealed he wants to take over the role after Ed Miliband’s resignation following the general election defeat.

Mr Burnham, speaking on a video posted on his new website www.andy4labour.co.uk, said he wants to unite the party with the British people.

The 45-year-old, who has been in office in Leigh since 2001 and is currently the shadow Health Secretary, spoke of how the party needs to connect with all voters, not just a select few.

“The plain truth is this,” he said. “The party that I love has lost its emotional connection with millions of people.

“The way to get it back can’t possibly be to choose one group of voters over another – to speak only to people on zero hour contracts or only to shoppers at John Lewis.

The party I love has lost its emotional connection with millions of people

Andy Burnham

“Our challenge is not to go left or right, to focus on one part of the country above another, but to rediscover the beating heart of Labour.

“And that must always be about the aspirations of everyone and speaking to them like we did in 1997.

“And what is aspiration? It is about giving every single person the dream of a better life; about helping all of our businesses, small or large, to get on and grow.

“Labour wins when it speaks to everyone and for the whole country, for Middle England but also for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

“And it needs a leader whose voice can carry into all the nations and regions of the UK. Be heard in every home, someone who people can relate to, who understands their lives. I am that person. I can unite this country and that is why I am standing to be leader of the Labour Party.”

Mr Burnham’s fellow Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall have also announced they are to stand for leadership while Tristram Hunt is also expected to launch a bid too.