Andy Burnham

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This article is about the politician. For the Roman Catholic priest, see Andrew Burnham (priest).
The Right Honourable
Andy Burnham
MP
Andy Burnham2.jpg
Andy Burnham c. 2009
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Assumed office
7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Harriet Harman (Acting)
Preceded by John Healey
In office
11 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman (Acting)
Ed Miliband
Preceded by Andrew Lansley
Succeeded by John Healey
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Ed Balls
Succeeded by Stephen Twigg
Secretary of State for Health
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Alan Johnson
Succeeded by Andrew Lansley
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
In office
24 January 2008 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by James Purnell
Succeeded by Ben Bradshaw
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Stephen Timms
Succeeded by Yvette Cooper
Member of Parliament
for Leigh
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Lawrence Cunliffe
Majority 15,011 (31.1%)
Personal details
Born Andrew Murray Burnham
(1970-01-07) 7 January 1970 (age 45)
Aintree, Merseyside, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Marie-France van Heel
Children 3
Alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Religion Roman Catholic

Andrew Murray Burnham (born 7 January 1970) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Leigh since 2001 and the Shadow Secretary of State for Health since 2011.

Born into a working-class Roman Catholic family in Aintree, Burnham was educated at local comprehensive schools and graduated with a degree in English from Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge. He worked as a researcher for Tessa Jowell from 1994 to 1997, then working for the NHS Confederation in 1997 and as an administrator for the Football Task Force in 1998. The same year, he became a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, a position he held until 2001.

After the retirement of Lawrence Cunliffe, the Labour MP for Leigh, Burnham was elected to succeed him in 2001. He was a member of the Health Select Committee from 2001 until 2003, then serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Home Secretary David Blunkett until 2004, when he became PPS to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly. He was promoted to serve in the Government after the 2005 election as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Home Office. In 2006, Burnham was moved to become a Minister of State at the Department of Health.

When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister in 2007, Burnham was promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a position he held until 2008, when he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. In 2009, he was promoted again to become Secretary of State for Health. In that role, he opposed further privatisation of NHS services and launched an independent inquiry into the Stafford Hospital scandal. After the Labour Party's defeat in the 2010 general election, Burnham was a candidate in the 2010 Labour leadership election, coming fourth out of five candidates. The contest was won by Ed Miliband. Burnham served as Shadow Secretary of State for Health until late 2010, when he was moved by Miliband to become Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He held that role for a year, then returning to the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Health.

After the 2015 general election, which saw the Labour Party lose badly to Conservative Party, Miliband resigned as leader. Burnham declared on 13 May 2015 that he would run to succeed him in the September 2015 leadership election.

Early life and education

Burnham was born in Old Roan in Aintree, Lancashire (now Merseyside), in 1970,[1] the son of a telephone engineer father and receptionist mother. He was brought up in Culcheth and educated at St Lewis' Primary School and St Aelred's Roman Catholic High School in Newton-le-Willows. He studied English at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge.[2] He is the honorary President of the Cambridge Universities Labour Club.[3]

Early political career

Burnham joined the Labour Party in 1984 when he was 14.[4] From 1994 until the 1997 general election he was a researcher for Tessa Jowell. He joined the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1995. After the 1997 election, he was a parliamentary officer for the NHS Confederation from August to December 1997, before taking up the post as an administrator with the Football Task Force for a year.[5]

In 1998, he became a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, a position he remained in until he was elected to the House of Commons in 2001.

Member of Parliament

After the retirement of Lawrence Cunliffe, Burnham applied to be the parliamentary candidate for the safe Labour seat of Leigh in Greater Manchester. Burnham secured selection to contest the seat at the next general election. At the 2001 election he was elected with a majority of 16,362, and gave his maiden speech in the House of Commons on 4 July 2001.[6]

Political views

Burnham has stated that he joined the Labour Party at the age of 14 after having been "radicalised" by the miners' strike of 1984–85.[7] In his 2010 leadership bid Burnham emphasised his philosophy of 'aspirational socialism', which he described as redistributive, collectivist and internationalist.[8] He is a strong opponent of nationalism (as promoted by the Scottish National Party) and referred to it as an "ugly brand of politics".[9]

Burnham is a feminist; he supports the use of all-women shortlists for parliamentary candidate selections.[10] He is also a supporter of LGBT rights and voted in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013.[11] In an interview in The Daily Telegraph on 13 October 2007, Burnham said: "I think it’s better when children are in a home where their parents are married" and "it’s not wrong that the tax system should recognise commitment and marriage", creating controversy because his views replicated the policies of the Conservative Party.[12]

He supports the renationalisation of railways and has pledged to change Labour Party policy on this if elected leader.[13][14] Burnham also favours a universal graduate tax to replace student tuition fees,[15] and voted against the most recent increase in fees.[16] He advocates a 'National Care Service', integrating care services into the National Health Service.[17]

Burnham's key economic policies include a new levy to fund social care, extending the higher minimum wage to all ages (it currently only applies to those over 25), and banning zero-hour contracts.[18] Burnham described the mansion tax proposed by Ed Miliband as "the politics of envy", saying he knew it would lose votes when his mother Eileen phoned and told him it represented a return to the 1970s.[19] He would continue the previous Labour policy of reintroducing the 50p rate of income tax.[20]

In government

Following his election to parliament, he was a member of the Health Select Committee from 2001 until 2003, when he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Home Secretary David Blunkett. After Blunkett's first resignation in 2004, he became PPS to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly. He was promoted to serve in the Government after the 2005 election as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, with responsibility for implementing the Identity Cards Act 2006.

In the government reshuffle of 5 May 2006, Burnham was moved from the Home Office and promoted to Minister of State at the Department of Health. In Gordon Brown's first cabinet, announced on 28 June 2007, Burnham was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a position he held until 2008. During his time at the Treasury, he helped author the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.[21]

In a re-shuffle in January 2008, Burnham was promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replacing James Purnell.[22] In June 2008, he apologised to the director of pressure group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, after she threatened to sue him for libel for smearing her reputation.[23]

In late 2008, Burnham announced government plans tighten controls on internet content in order to "even up" what he claimed was an imbalance with TV regulations.[24][25][26] The announcement was followed by a speech to the music industry's lobbying group, UK Music, in which he announced "a time that calls for partnership between Government and the music business as a whole: one with rewards for both of us; one with rewards for society as a whole. (...) My job – Government’s job – is to preserve the value in the system."[27]

In April 2009 after being heckled at the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster Burnham used the next day’s cabinet meeting in Downing Street to ask then Prime Minister Gordon Brown if he could raise the issue of Hillsborough to parliament. Brown agreed despite it not being on the agenda or on the government’s radar.[28] The eventual result was the second Hillsborough inquiry.

Burnham was again promoted becoming Secretary of State for Health in June 2009. He held the post until the Labour government resigned after the 2010 general election.

In July 2009, a month after he became Health Secretary, Burnham launched a second independent inquiry chaired by the QC Robert Francis into unusually high mortality rates at Stafford Hospital.[29] The inquiry found systematic failures at the hospital, and was critical of care provided by the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.[30][31] A wider public inquiry, again led by Robert Francis, was launched in 2010 by his successor as Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley. It found serious failings at the hospital but concluded it would be "misleading" to link those failings to a particular number of deaths.[32][33] Subsequent to leaving office, reports claimed that Burnham and his predecessor as Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, had rejected 81 requests to examine the high rate of deaths at Stafford hospital.[34] According to The Daily Telegraph, after initial concerns were raised about links between mortality rates and standards of care in 2005, there were up to 2800 more deaths than expected across 14 NHS trusts highlighted as having unusually high death rates.[34]

Burnham was criticised during the 2010 election campaign after leaflets were sent to 250,000 women - some of whom turned out to be cancer patients - featuring a message from a breast cancer survivor who praised Labour's health policy. Burnham denied that specific cancer patients had been targeted.[35]

In opposition

Burnham in 2011

2010 leadership election

Burnham became Shadow Secretary of State for Health after May 2010 following the resignation of Gordon Brown's government. Following Brown's resignation as Leader of the Labour Party, Burnham declared his intention to stand in the subsequent leadership contest.[36] He launched his leadership campaign in his Leigh constituency on 26 May.[37] Burnham led on his philosophy of 'aspirational socialism', aligning himself with Intern Aware's campaign to end unpaid internships. He made key policy commitments to the creation of a National Care Service and called for inheritance tax to be replaced with a land value tax. Burnham finished fourth, eliminated on the second ballot with 10.41% of the vote. The leadership contest was won by Ed Miliband.

At the end of September 2010, Burnham criticised Prime Minister David Cameron for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government's public spending cuts and health reforms to the NHS.[38]

Shadow Education Secretary

In October 2010, Burnham was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education and election co-ordinator for the Labour Party. As Shadow Education Secretary, Burnham opposed the coalition government's plans for "free schools". He argued for moving the education system back towards a comprehensive system.[39]

Shadow Health Secretary

Burnham speaking at the NHS Confederation annual conference in 2014

One day short of a year later, he was appointed again to his former role of Shadow Secretary of State for Health, and has held the role since 2011.

In July 2013 The Daily Telegraph reported that Burnham's staff had edited his Wikipedia page to remove criticisms of his handling of the Stafford Hospital scandal. Burnham's office claimed they had removed false statements that had been drawn to their attention.[40]

2015 leadership election

On 13 May 2015, Burnham announced that he would run to replace Ed Miliband in the September 2015 leadership election.[41] He stressed the need to unite the party and country and "rediscover the beating heart of Labour."[41] He promised to be "a leader whose voice can carry into all the nations and regions of the UK" and "someone who people can relate to, who understands their lives."[41] He attracted press criticism for claiming £17,000 a year from the taxpayer to rent a London flat, despite owning another within walking distance of the House of Commons. A spokesman for Burnham said that renting out the original flat was necessary to "cover his costs" as parliamentary rule changes meant he was no longer able to claim for mortgage interest expenses.[42]

Burnham was criticised for saying that Labour should have a woman leader "when the time is right", with the New Statesman saying that he had "tripped over his mouth again". He also said that he would resign from the Shadow Cabinet if Labour supported leaving NATO, something which current frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn wishes to do.[43][44]

Personal life

Burnham has been married to Marie-France van Heel, who is Dutch,[45] since 2000, having been in a relationship since university.[12] The couple have a son and two daughters. Burnham is a Roman Catholic.[46] In the 2015 leadership contest he praised Pope Francis, but urged the Pontiff to promote a progressive stance on gay rights.[47]

Burnham was the Honorary Chairman of Leigh Rugby League Club for a short time. Burnham was a talented junior cricketer (playing for Lancashire CCC Juniors) and keen footballer, and competed at both sports for his college. He has played for Labour's "Demon Eyes" football team and is a lifelong fan of Premier League football club Everton.[48][49] In July 2003, Burnham played for Conference club Leigh RMI in a pre-season friendly against Everton.[50] He came on as an 88th minute substitute for Neil Robinson in the 1-1 draw at Hilton Park.[50]

References

  1. ^ "Andy's biography from his Andy4Leader web-site". Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Andy Burnham : Department of Health". Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Students urge Burnham to shun Cambridge Union after Le Pen visit". 19 February 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tougher than he appears; Andy Burnham tells Ian Hernon that politics is lacking leaders people can relate to". The Free Library. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Woodward, Will (26 January 2008). "New culture secretary keeps an open mind on licence fee". The Guardian (London: Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 5 October 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "House of Commons Hansard; vol 371, part 14, col 333". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom. 4 July 2001. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "Who is Andy Burnham? In 90 seconds". The Daily Telegraph. 17 June 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Andy Burnham launches “Aspirational Socialism” manifesto". labourlist.org. LabourList. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  9. ^ "Solidarity not separation declares Burnham as he calls Nationalism an "ugly brand of politics"". Herald Scotland. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Fisher, Lucy (13 April 2014). "The Government has a women problem - and its down to the feminist men to fix it". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Andy Burnham MP, Leigh - Gay rights". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Sylvester, Rachel; Thomson, Alice (15 October 2007). "Marriage is important, children do notice". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "Andy Burnham Newsnight Interview Reveals Labour Leadership Hopeful Would Renationalise The Railways". Huff Post Politics UK (Huffington Post). 29 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Andy Burnham pledges to renationalise railway network". BBC News (BBC). 4 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Andy Burnham plans commission for graduate tax and 'care levy'". PoliticsHome.com. 28 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  16. ^ "Andy Burnham MP, Leigh". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Burke, Stephen (2 October 2009). "National care service – what's the big idea?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "Andy Burnham's ten key economic policies". 
  19. ^ "Andy Burnham: I knew 'spiteful' mansion tax was toxic when Mum phoned to complain". 
  20. ^ "https://www.politicshome.com/party-politics/articles/story/andy-burnham-and-yvette-cooper-back-return-50p-tax-rate". 
  21. ^ "Andy Burnham: Labour spending was not profligate". The Guardian. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Sometimes a problem really is an opportunity... for others". Times Online. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. 
  23. ^ Percival, Jenny (23 June 2008). "Chakrabarti-Davis row: Liberty head accepts letter of apology from Burnham". theguardian.com (London: Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  24. ^ Sweney, Mark (26 September 2008). "Government to tighten up web controls". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. 
  25. ^ "The medium and the message". BBC News. 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. 
  26. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (11 June 2008). "Andy Burnham hints at tighter control of online content". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. 
  27. ^ Andy Burnham and Charlie McCreevy speak at UK Music's first creators' conference[dead link]
  28. ^ Johnson, Mark (16 April 2014). "ough disaster speaks of his pride". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 10 July 2015. Roy Dixon was singled out for praise by Andy Burnham MP at yesterday's Hillsborough memorial service 
  29. ^ "Fresh inquiry at failing hospital". BBC. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  30. ^ Sarah Boseley (24 February 2010). "Mid Staffordshire NHS trust left patients humiliated and in pain". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  31. ^ Robert Francis QC (24 February 2010). Robert Francis Inquiry report into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. House of Commons. ISBN 978-0-10-296439-4. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  32. ^ "How many people died “unnecessarily” at Mid Staffs". Full Fact. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  33. ^ Robert Francis QC (24 February 2010), "Volume I, Section G: Mortality statistics", Independent Inquiry into care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust January 2005 – March 2009 (PDF), The Stationery Office, p. 352, ISBN 978-0-10-296439-4, HC375-I, retrieved 9 November 2010, it has been concluded that it would be unsafe to infer from the figures that there was any particular number or range of numbers of avoidable or unnecessary deaths at the Trust. 
  34. ^ a b Mason, Rowena (17 February 2013). "Mid Staffs: Labour Government ignored MP requests for public inquiry into deaths". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  35. ^ Hastings, Chris; Chittenden, Maurice; Mann, Nyta (11 April 2010). "Labour attacked over mailshot to cancer patients". The Times (London). Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. 
  36. ^ "Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott join Labour leadership race". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010. }
  37. ^ Burnham seeks to stand out from leadership crowd BBC News, 26 May 2010
  38. ^ Randeep, Ramesh (1 October 2010). "Health secretary rebuts Labour criticisms over NHS plans". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  39. ^ Tickle, Louise (9 November 2010). "Andy Burnham, advocate for the comprehensive system". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  40. ^ Hall, Melanie (21 July 2013). "Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham's staff deleted 'negative' Wikipedia references". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c Beattie, Jason (2015-05-13). "Andy Burnham announces he's standing for Labour leadership with video message vowing to 'rediscover beating heart of party'". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2015-05-13. 
  42. ^ Tufft, Ben (24 May 2015). "Andy Burnham claims £17,000 a year in rent for London flat – despite owning another that's walking distance from Westminster". Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  43. ^ "Andy Burnham: Labour should have a woman leader "when the time is right"". 25 August 2015. 
  44. ^ "Burnham 'would resign from Corbyn cabinet' over Nato and Trident stance". 25 August 2015. 
  45. ^ "The reality of a dream job". Guardian. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  46. ^ Merrick, Jane (24 March 2013). "Keep the faith, Andy Burnham tells NHS and Church". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  47. ^ Saul, Heather (27 May 2015). "Andy Burnham urges Pope Francis to back same-sex marriage and bring the Catholic Church 'into the 21st century'". The Independent. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  48. ^ Labour MP (22 October 2002). "Andy Burnham". BBC News. Archived from the original on 26 November 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  49. ^ Brown, Colin (20 June 2008). "Andy Burnham: The Mr Nice Guy who talked his way into a nasty situation". The Independent (London: Independent News & Media). Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  50. ^ a b "Leigh RMI 1-1 Everton". EvertonFC.com (Everton Football Club). 26 July 2003. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lawrence Cunliffe
Member of Parliament
for Leigh

2001–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Timms
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Yvette Cooper
Preceded by
James Purnell
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Ben Bradshaw
Preceded by
Alan Johnson
Secretary of State for Health
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Andrew Lansley
Preceded by
Andrew Lansley
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
2010
Succeeded by
John Healey
Preceded by
Ed Balls
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Stephen Twigg
Preceded by
John Healey
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
2011–present
Incumbent
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