Burnham accused of being a ‘tourist’ to north

Shadow Home Secretary and Leigh MP Andy Burnham
Shadow Home Secretary and Leigh MP Andy Burnham
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Andy Burnham’s Greater Manchester mayoral bid has been attacked by broadcaster Terry Christian, who accused the ex-cabinet minister of being a “tourist” to the north of England.

The Liverpool-born politician, who has been the MP for Leigh since 2001, launched his campaign for the new directly-elected role promising to rebalance the “London-centric” UK.

But Mancunian Mr Christian was among those to mock his assertion that youngsters growing up in the North feared being ridiculed if they said they wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or an MP.

“I do feel a bit sorry for him because it’s almost like he’s a tourist in the North nowadays, the way he talks about the North,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“He said nobody in the North would say they wanted to be a lawyer or a doctor.

“It’s a bit like he wants to be King of the North now, without getting all Game of Thrones on you. He doesn’t want to be warming the bench for Jeremy Corbyn any more so he wants to come up here. I just think it’s a bit cynical.”

He denied he was among those who were opposed to his bid because of the fierce rivalry between the city and Liverpool.

“It’s nothing to do with him coming from Merseyside. It’s just this idea that if you lack the charisma to win the Labour Party leadership from someone like Jeremy Corbyn, then we are in trouble. Manchester deserves someone with a bit more oomph about them.”