Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has declared that the Labour Party “needs to become more enthusiastic about devolution” in an exclusive interview with LabourList about his role during Covid and bid for re-election.
“I struggled more and more with Westminster the longer I was there,” Burnham told LabourList when asked whether he is most at home in his current mayoral position, after for years serving as an MP and in various cabinet posts.
“In this role, you can speak with authenticity,” he said. “I’m not plotting any return to Westminster. I think devolution is something the party really needs to get behind. This party of ours needs to get a plan together for the north of England.”
Referring to the Conservative slogan of ‘levelling up’ to tackle regional inequality, Burnham said of Labour: “It needs to get its own version of levelling up. It needs to become more enthusiastic about devolution. And I think it starts next year.”
The Labour mayor later added: “The government fought an election on the North, and this year it’s been a bit exposed as not really, really being there for the North, because it’s been trying to lock us down without giving us the support we need.