UK 21 May 2010 Andy Burnham’s dad is upset with me He says the former health secretary has a different background from the Miliband bros and Balls. Print HTML In my G2 piece on the Labour leadership race, I wrote: So far the contest has resembled a City boardroom. Two Eds. Two brothers. Plus Andy Burnham. All of them white, male, fortysomething, Oxbridge graduates. Andy Burnham's father, Roy, has been in touch this morning to tell me he "is not happy" and is "annoyed" that I didn't make it clear to the readers that his son, the former health secretary and MP for Leigh, did indeed graduate from Cambridge (and is, of course, white, male and 40-plus) but is actually from a working-class background, state-school-educated and northern. I'm happy to make that clarification and apologise to Roy if I offended him. I still stand by my point, however, that the Labour leadership race looked like a City boardroom prior to the black, female MP Diane Abbott declaring her candidacy. Nonetheless, I think it's rather sweet that Burnham Sr is so protective of Burnham Jr, who could, in theory, be this country's next prime minister. Speaking on the phone with me, Roy said the family had working-class and socialist roots, and reminded me that he is a former telephone engineer (his wife, Andy's mother, is a former telephone operator). I asked him where he'd place his son on the political spectrum, to which he replied: "To the left of New Labour." Intriguing. I also asked him who he thought Andy's main rival for the leadership was, to which Roy replied, without hesitation: "David Miliband. The front-runner. But with a four-month contest anything can happen. It's a long time." Indeed, it is. › And man created life Mehdi Hasan is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and the co-author of Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader. He was the New Statesman's senior editor (politics) from 2009-12. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles Jeremy Corbyn challenged by Labour MPs to sack Ken Livingstone from defence review How the shadow cabinet forced Jeremy Corbyn not to change Labour policy on Syria air strikes How did I, obsessed with non-places, not know about the Trafford Centre?