Andy Burnham insists he is 'committed to Manchester' amid calls to run for Labour leader

19 January 2022, 11:04 | Updated: 19 January 2022, 11:15

By Emma Soteriou

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has told LBC that he remains fully committed to the city, despite calls for him to instead run for Labour leader.

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Answering calls on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Burnham said running for the party leadership role would not be on the cards in the near future.

However, he said he would be open to stepping up later on, once his second term as mayor comes to an end in 2025.

"Perhaps later down the line," Mr Burnham said. "I've said that and I'm not going to change my story on that.

"I'm very much committed to serving a full second term here in Greater Manchester and I think we're building something really important.

"This is about building a healthier approach to politics in Britain but if, years down the line, that opportunity arose, I'm not going to turn my face away from it."

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It came after a caller suggested he take up the role, as "someone with integrity, vision, charisma and experience".

However, Mr Burnham said he had full faith in current Labour leader Keir Starmer and his integrity.

He said: "I think the current leader of the Labour Party has that in considerable amounts and it's what's needed right now.

"I'm very happy doing what I'm doing here now."

Mr Burnham also highlighted that he felt Westminster was a part of the problem in politics.

"I feel part of the problem is too much focus on Westminster," he added.

"It's just a dysfunctional environment and I think we'll be a happier country and work better politically when there's more power out of Westminster and a less tribal approach to politics."