The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog


Burnham plays the class card against the Milibands

Labour leadership candidate delivers a few low blows.

The start of a new month also brings the start of the Labour leadership "ceasefire". The candidates have all wisely agreed to take August off before the last leg of the race in September. But Andy Burnham couldn't resist a few low blows before he heads to the beach.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he says: "I come from a different background. My first job was not in politics. I didn't have well-connected parents." A none-too-subtle dig at the Miliband brothers.

It's a pity that Burnham can't resist playing the class card. At yesterday's Manchester hustings (handily streamed online for Londoners like me) he mounted a passionate and highly effective attack on the Tories' National Health Service reforms and, as ever, impressed on the subject of social care. He should stick to policy.

It's also slighty shabby of him to suggest that the Milibands wouldn't be where they are if it wasn't for their late and distinguished father. The truth remains that the candidates will all serve the party best if they emphasise where they're going, rather than where they're from.

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