James Kelly: Why I’m back­ing Burn­ham

But Cor­byn is favourite

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen’s Labour MSP has an­nounced he will back Andy Burn­ham to be­come the party’s UK leader.

James Kelly MSP reck­ons the MP for Leigh rep­re­sents Labour’s best chance of win­ning the 2020 elec­tion.

And he be­lieves fron­trun­ner Jeremy Cor­byn MP is not a cred­i­ble can­di­date if Labour want to oust the Tories from Down­ing Street.

Mr Burn­ham is up against left-winger Cor­byn, MP for Le­ices­ter West Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper, the MP for Nor­man­ton, Pon­te­fract and Castle­ford.

The book­ies cur­rently have Mr Cor­byn, who rep­re­sents Is­ling­ton North, as the favourite with Mr Burn­ham in sec­ond place.

But Mr Kelly in­sists the MP for Leigh is the party’s best shot go­ing for­ward.

He said: “First and fore­most, I think the im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber in this con­test is that Labour needs a leader that is go­ing to take us back to power and make us electable.

“The point of get­ting into pol­i­tics is to make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives and to do that, you need to be electable.

“I be­lieve the per­son that gives is the best op­por­tu­nity to do that is Andy Burn­ham.”

Many are pre­dict­ing ma­jor splits in the party if Mr Cor­byn is elected leader.

Labour are al­ready reel­ing from May’s gen­eral elec­tion which saw them lose out to the Tories and be al­most com­pletely wiped out in Scot­land by the SNP.

The re­sult prompted the res­ig­na­tion of Ed Mil­liband.

On the prospect of Mr Cor­byn be­com­ing leader, the Ruther­glen MSP said: “I’ve looked closely at Jeremy Cor­byn’s cam­paign and poli­cies and I’m not con­vinced the agenda he’s of­fer­ing is one that will take Labour for­ward.

“I’ve stressed that it’s im­por­tant that we elect a leader that’s cred­i­ble and can go on and gain sup­port from the public and I don’t think the agenda Jeremy Cor­byn is pur­su­ing is wide enough.”

The re­sult of the elec­tion will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 12.

Scot­tish Labour are cur­rently elect­ing a leader of their own, with Mr Kelly back­ing Kezia Dug­dale, who is the over­whelm­ing favourite to take over from Jim Mur­phy. That re­sult will be an­nounced on Au­gust 15.

Race James Kelly is back­ing Andy Burn­ham, but Jeremy Cor­byn (left) is the favourite

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