go to content
Politics

Andy Burnham Admits Jeremy Corbyn Is Doing Pretty Well In Labour Leadership Race

The shadow health secretary said Corbynmania proved that people were sick of "soundbite" politicians.

Posted on

Andy Burnham has admitted that his left-wing Labour leadership rival Jeremy Corbyn has won people's hearts.

The shadow health secretary said Corbyn – initially the rank outsider in the race – had been able to get through to people like no other candidate. He said all politicians could learn from Corbyn's refusal to speak in soundbites.

Burnham told the BBC News channel: "We're having a good debate about the future of the Labour party and it's beginning to engage more and more people.

"Jeremy Corbyn has clearly been able to speak to people because maybe he represents a break from the way politics has been in recent times, with politicians speaking in soundbites and sticking to [the] script.

"I think people are responding to what he's saying because he represents a break with that, and that's something that we all need to think about.

"I think this leadership election has got to be a change moment for the Labour party – we've been trapped in that Westminster bubble for far too long. We need to make this a moment of change and then get back on with rebuilding our party."

Corbyn, a Labour MP since 1983 who has rebelled against the government more than 500 times, has enjoyed a surge in support over the last few weeks. He started out with bookies' odds of 100/1 to win but Ladbrokes now has him at 11/4.

Burnham, however, does remain the favourite to win.

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.