Andy burnham

Why weren’t police forces investigating every theft?

Police must investigate every theft. This is the message from the Home Secretary as the government heralds an agreement from all 43 police forces in England and Wales to follow up on any evidence where there is a ‘reasonable line of enquiry’. In practice, that means the police should investigate low-level crimes such as stolen bikes, phones and shoplifting when there is reasonable lead such as a GPS tracker, CCTV footage or a doorbell video. As I noted earlier this month in a cover piece for the magazine, ‘investigate every crime’ doesn’t sound like a particularly novel concept. It raises the question: Why weren’t police investigating every theft? Over the

What is Andy Burnham up to?

Who is the busiest politician at Labour conference? One could be forgiven for assuming it would be Keir Starmer. But Andy Burnham is giving the Labour leader a run for his money.  The mayor for Greater Manchester is down to speak at 11 fringe events in total – after missing out on a slot on the main stage. On Sunday, he kicked off his busy conference schedule with a BBC interview in which he said it was the wrong time for Starmer to try to change party rules. Burnham urged the Labour leadership to finally set out a compelling vision to the public. Burnham hasn’t denied still harbouring leadership ambitions This morning,

Andy Burnham turns the tables on Nicola Sturgeon

As leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon has earned a reputation for rallying against what she argues is an arrogant Westminster elite which rides roughshod over Scots. It appears now though that the Scottish First Minister might be getting a taste of her own medicine. This week, she has ended up in a fierce war of words with the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, after the Scottish government unilaterally introduced a travel ban on Manchester and Salford. On Friday, Sturgeon announced without warning that travel between the two North West areas and Scotland would be forbidden from Sunday, due to rising concerns about the Indian (or Delta) variant. Travel

Burnham’s misjudged attack on the judiciary

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andrew Burnham, has publicly criticised a judge, calling his decision to end a criminal trial on legal grounds a ‘disgrace’. The judge is Mr Justice William Davis, a highly respected ‘red judge’ — that is the top level of judge we have who do trials. They are the best we have. There are 105 in our country. This is an attack on the judiciary and the independence of judges. But what you think of people who do such things reveals much about your politics. The charitable argument is that Mr Burnham is confused. That is no insult, the legal system is confusing — I am

Douglas Murray

Does Andy Burnham regret his opposition to the ‘Prevent’ strategy?

Perhaps we’re now past the moment of shock. Certainly we’ve moved fairly swiftly past the other stages of post-massacre grief. With the departure of Katie Hopkins from LBC it is good to see that Monday night’s attack in Manchester has not gone completely unpunished. The desire to point fingers and scapegoat is a perfectly normal response to an outrage of course. It’s just people’s priorities I worry about. However, since people seem willing to start pointing fingers, perhaps I can suggest some candidates. Andy Burnham. In order to get elected Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham made a tactical decision to cosy up to the Muslim communities of Manchester. One of the ways in

Andy Burnham is Labour’s king over the water

There are few things so perilous for an under-performing opposition leader as the emergence of a ‘king over the water’. This is typically someone who is a member of the same party with an impressive track record but who isn’t currently in the Commons and is therefore not subject to the patronage wielded by the leader. As the leader flails, the king over the water is deemed to have acquired miraculous powers. Each new poll recording the leader’s unpopularity launches a thousand new daydreams among party members fondly imagining how the king over the water would reshape things in ways they yearn for. Keir Starmer is now faced with just

The shamelessness of Andy Burnham

Of all the people who should carry the can for Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader of the Labour party, Andy Burnham doesn’t get his fair share of the stick. It was, after all, Burnham’s fear of being the most left-wing candidate in the 2015 leadership contest that led to Corbyn being ‘loaned’ enough MPs’ votes to get Dear Jeremy on the ballot. Despite this fact, Burnham felt no shame in saying in an interview this weekend that, ‘I still think life would have been different if I had won in 2015’, as if he hadn’t been his own worst enemy in denying that victory from taking place. That’s before we move onto

Andy Burnham makes life more difficult for Starmer

As Keir Starmer spends the weekend working out how exactly to bounce back from disappointing results for his party in the local elections, not every Labour politician is down and out. Step forward Andy Burnham. The Greater Manchester mayor has this afternoon been re-elected with an impressive 67.3 per cent of the vote. In his victory speech on hearing the news, Burnham appeared close to tears as he thanked his family for their support and called for more devolution in England.  But it’s another part of Burnham’s speech that’s likely to set the cat among the pigeons. The former Labour MP used his speech to offer advice on devolution, not just to the Prime

Does Manchester really need tougher restrictions?

Is Andy Burnham’s resistance to tier three a principled stand or just an attempt to extract more money from central government? While Burnham is insisting that he ‘won’t be rolled over’ for money — he is believed to have been offered between £75 million to £100 million if he agrees to the higher level of restrictions — communities secretary Robert Jenrick is insisting that the government is close to making a deal with Andy Burnham’s local authority. Meanwhile, what no one seems to have noticed — or at least are not letting on — is that cases in Manchester are now falling and are showing signs of levelling off in the other

Three hours to prepare for a local lockdown

My weekend plans have been ruined by Matt Hancock. The government has announced new lockdown restrictions for over four million people – banning separate households from meeting indoors – in Greater Manchester (where I live) along with parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire. What does that mean in practice? When announcing the lockdown on Thursday evening, the Health Secretary tweeted that ‘people from different households will not be allowed to meet each other indoors’, which sounds pretty rudimentary. But would this mean we go back to working from home; that spaces like pubs and restaurants would be closed even if you only visit with your household; could a cleaner come

Andy Burnham sets out his stall against local lockdowns

On Friday, researchers at the University of Cambridge working with Public Health England estimated that the R number – Covid’s rate of transmission – has risen above 1 in the North West, meaning the virus may be starting to spread in the region. In every other region of England, the study suggested, the R number is either at 1 or below. In response, Matt Hancock confirmed at the Downing Street press conference that the government’s strategy, if the virus begins to spread in a particular region, is to introduce local lockdowns (although the Health Secretary believes the R number is still below 1 in the North West at this stage).

The return of flip-flop Andy Burnham

During Andy Burnham’s time in Westminster, the then Labour MP quickly built a reputation for flip-flopping. Never sure which way the wind would blow, Burnham would go from taking one Strong Stance to switching to a completely different Strong Stance when it seemed the mood was turning. These topics ranged from immigration and the NHS to Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair. Happily, it turns out one can still flip-flop up in Greater Manchester where Burnham is regional mayor. Last month, in an interview with Politico, Burnham slammed ‘arrogant’ second Brexit vote campaigners: ‘My frustration with those leaping to a second referendum is it further inflames this idea of an arrogant

Manchester needs a new champion – and it isn’t Andy Burnham

Another election that catches my business eye is the one for mayor of Greater Manchester. The winner will have a powerbase with huge potential: a city-region of 2.7 million people, an enterprise culture that has evolved over two centuries, an outstanding university science base, strong flows of inward investment, Europe’s largest industrial estate at Trafford Park, a global sports brand at Old Trafford, and a world-class airport. Yes, it also has problems of ‘entrenched worklessness’, NHS overstretch and underperforming schools — and nine of its ten local authorities are Labour-controlled. But that’s no reason to award the mayor’s job to yet another socialist opportunist. I refer of course to Liverpool-born

Capping prices to win votes is no substitute for a serious energy strategy

Is capping domestic energy prices an equitable way to help the ‘just about managing’, or an electoral gimmick with a whiff of anti-free-market ideology? When it was Ed Miliband’s idea, it was certainly the latter. Now it’s likely to be included in Theresa May’s manifesto, offering a potential £100 saving for millions of homes on ‘standard variable tariffs’, it is defended by the ever-plausible Sir Michael Fallon as a matter of ‘intervening to make markets work better’. And that, after all, is what the Prime Minister said she would do, wherever necessary, in the interests of fairness. In a regulated market, within which the consumer’s ability to choose the most

Andy Burnham and ‘posh coffee’ – a brief history

This evening, Andy Burnham has whipped social media into a frenzy after the Labour MP decided to wade into ‘barista-gate’. Following reports that the Home Secretary is considering plans for ‘barista visas’ — which would allow young Europeans to work in the hospitality industry after Brexit — Burnham has taken to Twitter to let it be known that he is unimpressed. The former shadow home secretary says the ‘right-wing’ policy is bizarre as ‘God forbid the idea of waiting longer in the morning for their posh coffee’. Bit bizarre hearing these right-wing calls for a "Barista Visa". God forbid the idea of waiting longer in the morning for their posh coffee.

Amber Rudd is right, Orgreave is best consigned to the history books

So, there will be no public inquiry into the Battle of Orgreave in 1984, and no left-wing lawyers making a fortune. Maybe Andy Burnham, who seems to have appointed himself as Shadow Minister for Ancient Grievances, would have got further had he demanded an inquiry that was less overtly political, and looked at the violence of striking miners as well as misconduct by the police, but do we really have to trawl back through all of that? No-one died at Orgreave, unlike in South Wales where taxi driver David Wilkie was killed when a concrete block was dropped on his car while taking a ‘scab’ to work. The striking miners

Andy Burnham finally quits the shadow cabinet

Andy Burnham has just announced he’s leaving the shadow cabinet. He said he was doing so to concentrate on his mayoral bid, telling Labour’s conference: ‘That’s why I can tell you all first today that I have asked Jeremy to plan a new Shadow Cabinet without me, although I will of course stay until it is in place.’ He also took a pop at Westminster (‘Westminster over decades has failed the North of England’) and said the turmoil in the Labour party over the last year had made him ‘profoundly sad’. But he also – tried – to use his speech to defend himself. Burnham has been accused of flip-flopping

Labour’s attack dog turns on Andy Burnham

What a difference a year makes. Last August, Michael Dugher and Andy Burnham were thick as thieves with Dugher — a former Brown spinner — even running Burnham’s failed leadership campaign. Alas now that Jeremy Corbyn is leader their friendship has taken a turn for the worse. While Dugher was sacked as shadow Culture Secretary in January, Burnham has clung on as shadow Home Secretary — even choosing to remain when the majority of the shadow cabinet resigned in protest of the leader. While sceptics suggested this was because he was worried about losing Corbynista votes in his bid to be the Mayor of Greater Manchester, today any such bet paid off with Burnham announced as Labour’s

Tom Goodenough

Andy Burnham named as Labour’s Manchester Mayoral candidate

Andy Burnham has won the race to be named as Labour’s candidate in the Manchester Mayoral race. The shadow home secretary’s victory was certainly convincing – he won 50 per cent of the vote amongst Labour members; interim mayor Tony Lloyd got 28 per cent, whilst former minister Ivan Lewis won 19 per cent. So what now? Burnham had made himself something of a laughing stock recently with his flip-flopping about quitting the shadow cabinet. He drew derision for staying loyal to Corbyn, so at least after today he appears to have a bonafide reason at last for leaving the shadow cabinet. Despite the infancy of his mayoral campaign, Burnham is already

Northern overexposure

‘The shortest way out of Manchester,’ it used to be said, ‘is notoriously a bottle of Gordon’s gin.’ But that was a long time ago, when ‘Cottonopolis’ was the pivot of the Industrial Revolution, the British empire was expanding and life was cheaper. They tend not to drink gin any more in the bars on Deansgate. It’s cocktails, a tenner a pop. The hub of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is a much-changed city. Now they’re queuing to get in, even though the super-duper HS2 rail link may go no further than Crewe, which is in Cheshire, and only southerners think Cheshire is in the north. Andy Burnham is the latest