Burnham sets out stall for party leadership

Labour Party leadership hopeful Andy Burnham addresses the LSV campaign event
Labour Party leadership hopeful Andy Burnham addresses the LSV campaign event
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MP Andy Burnham’s campaign to become leader of the Labour Party arrived in his home constituency with a hustings in the borough.

Around 200 people turned up at the Leigh Sports Village (LSV) to hear Mr Burnham outline his campaign to become the leader of the opposition and answer questions.

The discussion covered a wide range of subjects from the future of the NHS to his reaction to Chancellor George Osborne’s budget.

Mr Burnham initially spoke for around 20 minutes outlining the main points of his campaign to succeed Ed Miliband, focusing on speaking for the whole country, reviving aspiration and making Labour less London-centric.

He then answered questions for more than an hour as Labour Party members quizzed him on the details of his beliefs in key policy areas.

He criticised Mr Osborne for his budget, saying the introduction of a new national living wage will not compensate for the loss of tax credits among families on low incomes and the one per cent public-sector pay rises effectively left millions of workers facing a wage cut.

He was also asked to outline his position on the NHS and said the health service should remain free at the point of access for all and also the preferred provider of services.

He was also asked to explain his support for the renewal of the controversial Trident missile system, saying he regarded national defence as the first duty of any government.

The battle between Mr Burnham and his rivals Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Jeremy Corbyn has at times become somewhat heated on the campaign trail, but the LSV event was solely focused on policy with the other hopefuls not being mentioned.