DIANE Abbott has said that she and the Socialist Campaign Group – a bloc of around 40 left-wing Labour MPs – are preparing to endorse the Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to challenge and replace Keir Starmer as leader of the Labour Pary.
“Keir Starmer faces another by-election in the coming months in Batley and Spen” Corbyn Ally Abbott said. “But this West Yorkshire constituency has different demographics from Hartlepool. Support from the large minority ethnic electorate may enable the party to hold the seat and Starmer to hang on as Labour leader.
“But if Labour loses again, it must surely be curtains for him. And then, it may be that Andy Burnham’s time will have come.”
“His best moment came when he went to war with Boris Johnson over the lack of financial support for Manchester during the coronavirus pandemic.”
“[…] This defiance resonated – and not just in the north of England. But it certainly strengthened Burnham’s position in Manchester. In the recent mayoral election, he stormed to victory, winning every one of the 215 wards in Greater Manchester.”
Abbott added that Burnham – who also served in both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s Cabinets – was considered to be a “neutral figure” by much of the membership after “reinventing himself as a plucky insurgent rather than a New Labour clone.”
The far-left marmite MP also stated that the Socialist Campaign Group are preparing to endorse the Manchester Mayor.
The Manchester Mayor has previously stood for the Labour leadership twice – coming fourth behind the Miliband brothers and Ed Balls in 2010, and finishing second behind Jeremy Corbyn in 2015.
Following Labour’s loss in the Hartlepool by-election, Burham announced that he intends to run for party leadership again, yet other Labour politicians have pointed out Burnham’s current ineligibility to run for the leadership, with the requirement being that a candidate must be a sitting MP.
Behind the scenes in Westminster, a growing number of Labour MPs are rumoured to be rallying behind Angela Rayner, the Deputy Leader who is also seen to be a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn.