After a well earned three week break from interviews, I am excited to published the questions that Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham took time out of his very busy schedule to answer for me. I wanted to see why Andy believes young people should become more involved in politics, how he could make sure that Labour win the next election and also about the possibility of having a ‘fandom’ like Ed Miliband did. Andy also happens to be a die-hard Everton fan, like myself, so I also wanted to ask him a couple of questions about the club we both love too. Andy has been the MP for Leigh since 2001 and is the current Shadow Health Secretary.
- How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?
“Voting turnout among young people in May was terrible. Modern day politics sounds too distanced from most young people’s lives. That’s why I’m committed to making our relationship with young voters more like a conversation and less like a lecture. I want to run an engaging party; one that connects with our members and with voters as a whole; one that works for young people and develops policies that will help everyone get on in life. That’s why I have been championing policies to help people get on in the housing ladder and into a secure, decent job, and it’s why I’m campaigning for a true living wage for all. Too many politicians don’t seem to realise how hard it now is for young people to get on in life. What possible justification can there be for limiting the increased living wage to over 25s? We need to inspire young people with big ideas that can change lives.”
- Why would you encourage young people to support The Labour Party?
“Because we are the Party that will help you to get on in life and will offer bold ideas that can change the world; not just timid sound bites to change headlines. Because whether we are talking about jobs, social care, economic growth or climate change, under my Leadership we will be offering a vision for the future that young people can get behind.”
- If elected as Labour leader, what would you do to make sure Labour win the next General Election?
“As I’ve said, I think we need to offer much bigger and bolder ideas that genuinely excite and inspire people. That’s why I’ve called for a National Health and Care Service, so that social care is funded through taxes and is free at the point of use. Polls have shown I’m the only candidate who can win back support from people who voted for other parties in May, and I’m in the lead amongst the public in every part of the country. I can rebuild that emotional connection that we’ve lost from millions of voters.”
- Will you still go to the Everton games if elected as leader, or even Prime Minister?
“Yes, absolutely! I will never forget my roots and I’m Everton until I die.”
- How do you think Everton will get on next season?
“It’s been a fairly quiet summer for transfers at Goodison Park, but I’m excited to see Gerard Deulofeu rejoin from Barcelona. We’ve had some positive results so far in pre-season, we’ve got a good manager and if we can keep hold of John Stones before the start of the close of the transfer window, hopefully we can improve on last season.”
- How do you feel about the term ‘Burnites’ for your fan club name?
“Very catchy… I’m grateful enough to have a fan club, so they can call themselves whatever they like!”