Burnham: ‘I will be in more pubs than Farage’

Andy Burnham
Andy Burnham

LABOUR leadership hopeful Andy Burnham has said he ‘will be in more pubs than Mr Farage’ if he wins the election.

The Leigh MP was speaking to Radio 5 Live during a hustings event in Stevenage and when asked why people should vote for him he said he would put Labour back in touch with the public by ‘getting out around the county’.

I am not a Westminster politician, I never have been. I will have my feet on the ground and be in more pubs than Mr Farage

Andy Burnham

He said: “I am not a Westminster politician, I never have been. I will have my feet on the ground and be in more pubs than Mr Farage.”

He also promised to deliver a radical agenda and he would unite the party when he, and each of the other candidates Jeremy Corbyn, Harriet Harman and Liz Kendall, were given 30 seconds along with at the end of the show.

The comments caused a chuckle amongst the audience members but will it win him favour with the public? We spoke to some of Wigan’s pub goers to find out what they thought.

Friends Brenda Sheffield, 73, and Sheila Prescott, 76, both felt that politicians probably already spent enough time in pubs.

Brenda said: “I think they probably spend enough time in pubs already. I think they should get out and speak to the public more and spend less time in pubs. Who does he think he is trying to kid?”

They both said they would like to go for a drink with Gordon Brown though because they said he seemed like a nice guy.

Michael Cramer, 41, and his mum Rose Carroll, 68, disagreed. They thought it would be nice to see more politicians down the pub.

Michael said: “It would be nice to see your politicians as one of the regulars and too see them out and about a bit more. I think it would make them seem more like a normal person, like everybody else.”

Michael said he would like to go for a drink with Boris Johnson. “He looks like he can handle a few drinks,” he said.

Alma Little, 20, and Tom Janetis, 21, thought politicians would find out more about their constituents of they did go to the pub.

Alma said: “I think they can do what they want really. I do think it would give them the opportunity to meet more ordinary people and get more involved with them and what’s going on in the world.”

Alma would like to go for a drink with Nigel Farage while Tom though Ed Miliband would be a good laugh.

Tom said: “I think he seems like he has got a sense of humour. I reckon pubs are better than anything. We should all go to pubs.”

Janette and Graham Whittle thought that going to a pubs more often would make politicians seem less snobby.

Graham said: “I think it would make them seem more sociable and likeable - less snobby. A lot of them sit up in ivory towers.”

He didn’t fancy going for a drink with any of them though while Janette would like to meet David Cameron and ask him to sort out the NHS.

“You could ask a politician anything, within reason, in a pub,” she said.

“It would be nice to see them out and about, and not just kissing babies like they do when an election is coming up.”

Leah Phillips, 17, agreed that politicians should get out and about more but didn’t feel the pub was an appropriate place for it.

“I don’t think politicians should be in pubs, they should be doing their work. That is what they are paid for, not for having fun in the pub” she said.

“I think it is important they speak to people but they should go to a church or a community centre. I don’t think the pub is an appropriate place.

“I would like to meet Ed Miliband.

“I am still upset he lost the election. He is so cute.”