Borough MP Burnham faces agonising wait

Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham
Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham

ANDY Burnham’s bid for votes in the Labour leadership race has come to an end and the Leigh MP now must wait until Saturday to learn his fate.

Voting closed at midday on Thursday amid claims that many party members had still not received their ballot papers in the final hours of the contest.

Labour organised a last minute dash to send new ballot papers out by close of play yesterday to members who had contacted the party by Tuesday.

But Burnham’s campaign manager Michael Dugher criticised the party for the latest bout of chaos in the contest.

He tweeted: “With thousands still to vote and many not had their ballot, @UKLabour has closed the call centre to help members trying to vote. Unbelievable.”

Burnham, the shadow health secretary, along with rivals Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper, will find out who has won the race at a special conference held in London on Saturday.

Labour needs a leader ready to fight the Bullingdon Boys

Andy Burnham

In a final full speech of the campaign on Wednesday he issued a thinly-veiled warning about the “credibility” of left-wing frontrunner Corbyn.

Burnham said: “I have no doubt that, whoever wins, Labour will change quite profoundly, but we need to ensure it is the right kind of change. Change that unites, puts us back in touch with the public and can win a general election. That is what I am offering.

“Labour needs a leader ready to fight the Bullingdon Boys, not Tony Blair and the battles of the past. With your support, I will be that leader and give Labour a radical, but credible, Prime Minister-in-waiting.”

For live updates from the Labour leadership announcement visit on Saturday from 10am.