Who will the next Labour leader be? Six things you should know about new hopeful Andy Burnham

Sarah Spickernell
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Burnham has been involved in politics for a very, very long time (Source: Getty)
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnahm is the latest MP to join the race for Labour leadership.
The party had a dismal time at the General Election, winning just 232 seats and leaving the Conservatives with an overall majority. Ed Miliband resigned as leader the very next day, and various members of the party have already voiced their intention to try and replace him.
It won't be until mid-September that the final decision is made, but Yvette Cooper, Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall are all considered strong contenders for the role.
Burnham's the latest addition to the competition, and he's one who doesn't give up easily. Here are six things you should know about the Labour leader hopeful.

He's been involved in politics for a very long time

Burnham may be 45, but he was just 14 when he first joined the Labour party. He has spent pretty much all his career working in politics, first as a researcher for Tessa Jowell, then as a parliamentary officer for the NHS confederation and then as a special adviser.
It was in 2001 that he was first elected to parliament, and since then has worked as a private secretary to David Blunkett and as the shadow secretary for education. It was in 2011 that he was appointed to his current role as shadow health secretary.

He's tried it before

Burnham's an experienced man when it comes to leadership contests – he tried to become Labour leader once before in 2010, but came in fourth place out of five with 8.68 per cent of the votes.

He's a Liverpudlian

He was born in Liverpool in 1970, the son of a telephone engineer and a receptionist. He left his his home town when he went to study English at Cambridge University. It was there that he met Marie-France van Heel, to whom he is now married.

He's a keen sports player

For a short time, Burnham was the honorary chairman of Leigh Rugby League Club. He also used to be a very keen on cricket and football, both of which he played for his college at university.

His views haven't always been that "Labour"

Some Labour politicians have been criticised for having the occasional Conservative-leaning view, and this is exactly what happened to Burnham in 2007. He told the Daily Telegraph he thought children grew up better in a home “where their parents are married”.
"It’s not wrong that the tax system should recognise commitment and marriage,” he continued, leading to some backlash from his Labour colleagues.

He has a socialist philosophy

Burnham believes in the philosophy of “aspirational socialism”, and he led with this in his last leadership campaign. He made policy commitments to create a National Care Service, which would give old people social care for free at the point of need, and to replace inheritance tax with a land revenue tax.

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