James Forsyth

Burnham fails to explain what the point of his candidacy is

Burnham fails to explain what the point of his candidacy is
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Another Sunday, another Labour leadership contender on Marr. But Andy Burnham’s performance this morning did him few favours. His argument for his candidacy seems to be that because he’s northern and from a working class background he’d be a better leader than either of the Milibands or Ed Balls.

The limitations around Burnham’s candidacy were exposed when the question of immigration came up, an issue that Burnham has sought to make central to his candidacy. Burnham said that immigration was one of those issues where Labour’s traditional vote felt the Labour government was ‘not on its side’. But when Marr pressed him on the issue, Burnham didn’t criticse the last government’s policy—for examplel, the failure to put transition controls on migration from the new EU mmeber states—but rather talked about a perception problem. It was an essentially shallow answer.

Burnham said he was ‘quite proud’ to be regarded as the new Labour continuity candidate. But judging by this appearance he’ll find it quite hard to expand his support base beyond a collection of Yorkshire and north-western MPs. 

 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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