Cracks appearing in team Burnham

Word reaches Uncut that all is not well in the Burnham camp. Despite being the bookies’ favourite, worries about Andy Burnham’s strategy and performance have started to bubble to the surface among his supporters.

Doubts are being raised about what has been dubbed the ‘inevitability strategy’.

Immediately following the general election defeat, Andy Burnham’s campaign mobilised, rolling out endorsements from across the PLP to establish him as the runaway favourite, suck away nominations from potential rivals and make his victory seem assured.

The thinking was that this would lead to a lower key race with other candidates and party members reluctant to attack the likely leader. Such a contest, with relatively little incident or conflict to generate media coverage, would suit a candidate like Andy Burnham who is already well-known within the party.

However, almost three weeks into the race and things are not going according to plan. One staffer of an MP committed to Burnham told Uncut,

“We got off to a good start with Rachel [Reeves] and Dan [Jarvis] signing up but since then the momentum has slowed. The boss is worried the names promised haven’t come through.”

A centrist MP who is backing Burnham, but is yet to be announced, echoed these concerns,

“Andy is being defined as the left-wing choice, he needs to balance out his support. Idiots on Twitter like Eoin Clarke aren’t helping.”

Eoin Clarke is a well-known hard left Twittervist and has been tweeting prolifically in support of Burnham.

The MP went on,

“The plan was to be out of sight, quickly. We’re not there; Liz and Yvette are competitive and this looks like it’s going to get messy.”

Jitters about strategy are fuelling concerns about Andy Burnham’s personal performance.

Already a debate has opened up within his inner circle about whether he should challenge Liz Kendall’s agenda more aggressively.

Those who back a more robust approach point to the toxicity that surrounds Tony Blair within the Labour party. They want Burnham to tie Liz Kendall to Blair and define her as a Tory-lite throwback to the 90s.

However, on the other side are those that worry this would confirm Burnham as the left-wing candidate before a membership that tends to be more centrist than activists and will be wary of picking another leader perceived as being too left-wing after such a crushing election defeat.

Even the members of team Burnham most eager to take on Liz Kendall concede that if the race descends into a scrap between the two, Yvette Cooper could come through the middle and win.

What unites the two camps advising Burnham though is the conviction that he needs to do something. Liz Kendall has driven media coverage of the campaign in the last fortnight and apart from announcing new backers, Burnham has been left trailing.

One shadow ministerial adviser summed up the current mood in the Burnham campaign,

“We’re not panicking, there’s a way to go, but Andy needs to get out there and stamp himself on the race.”

How he does that, will determine much of what comes next in the Labour leadership election.

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9 Responses to “Cracks appearing in team Burnham”

  1. Alex Field says:

    its the toxic stafford hospital that really needs addressing not weather he is left centre or right everybody worth a light knows what liz Kendall is

  2. Ardepy says:

    Liz has gained the momentum because she has done the most, and most creative, thinking. Andy (and Yvette) must also generate some novel and coherent ideas if they want to compete. A genuine battle of ideas would be good for the leadership race and for the party. 3 more months of the current race will expose Labour’s weaknesses without starting to address them.

  3. Dave Hughes says:

    What a nonsense article, not surprising there hasn’t been a name put to it. Congratulations on trying to divide the Party with smears when it needs unity the most.

  4. Dave Hughes says:

    If Eoin was hard-left, I don’t think he’d be in the same Party as a sizeable Tory-lite Blairite element. Should be ashamed of yourself, really pathetic.

  5. john P reid says:

    Andy like Ed in 2010 could market himself as ,Understanding how unpopular we were and not being un loyal to Tony or Gordon the way Ed Balls with his part in the Blair coup and David with ,his failed coup against Gordon, plus they were both too nice.

    but Gulp, loyalty to the leadership isn’t helpful now, by the way we let Ed M, be delusional enough to think his strategies were winnable,

    and In all fairness to Andy I think he’s twigged it, O.k. the Sun is digging up dirt on Andy because as Philip Collins but it, 5 years ago Burnhan could have mixed Blue and New labour, but due to union influence he’s backed out of reforms he could of supported, Andy also thought he had the Blairite support, I know at least 12 people who supported him last Time who’re backing liz, the question we have to ask is could he survive a press blood bath, in fact Yvette with her baggage of Her husband could be able to swing around this .by Basing her support of the feminist, middle class female skilled worker vote, and Liz with her, I don’t care what you think ,Thatcher style attitude.

    could I see Andy standing up to Len Mcklusky, could I see andy with Tom Watson as deputy ,having faith if Andy was out the country Tom Watson would do what Andy ‘says, no.

    I’m afraid its not his fault but he’s too much part of the Westminster bubble, that’s not his fault, but compared to any the deputies it would just stand out too much. possibly with the exception of John healey

  6. Martyn Wilkins says:

    Its the lack of a candidate that inspires confidence of retention of social justice and has some charisma that is the problem, a lot of members are aggrieved that it isn’t
    A fair contest hogging 100 MP votes early and therefore
    not an open contest and that they are faced with a poor and limited choice of candidates all seemingly trying to ‘out tory’ the other!

  7. John P Reid says:

    Dave Hughes, over the years labour has had Manni Shinwell, next to Morrison Bevin,Gerorge Brown, or Bernie grant, next to Frank Field

    Eion next to thatcherites in the Labour Party us nothing,

  8. Labour’s leadership election has whiffed of blind panic from day one. They should have left it for a month or two and began a leadership campaign at the end of the summer.

    The Party badly needs breathing space. It is, in a literal sense, traumatised.

    That break may have allowed the MP’s of a shell-shocked party the space it needs to identify who it wants to emerge as candidates in the leadership contest. As it is, based on the candidates they have at the moment, the Party is most definitely going to do what they often do in the face of defeat – pick the wrong leader.

  9. John. PReid says:

    In all fairness , excluding those activists in marginals who didn’t win, the MPs who did win,feel they win due to add not because of him,but there’s a real sense of dispointment, and getting rid of Ed, the sooner is the right thing to do,
    I hop the new leaders are picked ,after a good debate

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