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Andy Burnham: Labour should ‘get in touch’ if they need leadership

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham leaves Golborne Library, Golborne, Warrington - Credit: PA

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has suggested he would entertain becoming leader of the Labour Party “in the distant future”.

Burnham was speaking to the media after being re-elected to office with a landslide level of support.

Asked on Sky News whether he wanted to lead the party following reports he would be a frontrunner to replace Keir Starmer, Burnham said: “I’ve been elected as mayor of Greater Manchester – that is where my focus is.

“I left Westminster politics, I’m not an MP – you have to be an MP to stand for the leader of the Labour Party and I’m not aware the rules have changed.

“So no, my focus is here. In the distant future, if the party were ever to feel it needed me, well I’m here and they should get in touch.”

He added: “I have tried twice to be the leader and it has never worked, so I’m not under any illusions that it has never worked for me in the past.

“I feel I am in the best job in the world and we have a massive job ahead of us but I’m here to help the Labour Party if they need it – but they need to change, let’s be really clear about this.

MORE: No 10 claims they expect Andy Burnham to be leader of Labour by 2024

“They have lost an emotional connection with parts of the country that is going to take a lot of work to get back, so I think the party has to do a lot of soul-searching about these results and understand why we have done well in Wales, places like Greater Manchester, and it really needs to then buy in to English devolution and build from the bottom up – that’s what these results are telling them.”