Increasing support for Burnham’s leadership bid

Andy Burnham MP chats with council leader Lord Smith at the 2015 elections

Andy Burnham MP chats with council leader Lord Smith at the 2015 elections

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ANDY Burnham’s bid for the Labour leadership has received a further boost with the support of key party figures.

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, has endorsed the shadow health secretary following his own decision not to stand in the race to replace Ed Miliband.

Mr Jarvis, who is a former paratrooper, had been touted as a potential candidate but ruled himself out citing family commitments.

Leigh MP Mr Burnham has also secured the support of the shadow work and pensions secretary, Rachel Reeves, and is thought to now have backing from more than 70 colleagues.

Potential candidates require the support of 35 MPs to qualify for the leadership election.

Makerfield MP and borough colleague Yvonne Fovargue said Mr Burnham has all the attributes to be Labour leader.

Andy is someone who people can relate to and most importantly – he is someone who listens

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue

Speaking to Wigan Today, she said: “I have worked with Andy closely since my election in 2010 and he is someone who people can relate to and most importantly – he is someone who listens.

“Too often we spent much of the last Parliament talking to too narrow a section of the electorate. Some humility, honesty and open-mindedness are urgently in order as we seek to understand the message the electorate delivered.

“Labour is at its best when it is in tune to the aspiration of millions of voters.”

The endorsements for Mr Burnham follows on from the dramatic news that shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna had ruled himself out of the race just a few days after announcing his bid, citing the impact of media scrutiny on his family and loved ones.

Other contenders are shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh, shadow health minister Liz Kendall and shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.