Andy Burnham

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This article is about the politician. For the Roman Catholic priest, see Andrew Burnham (priest).
The Right Honourable
Andy Burnham
MP
Andy Burnham2.jpg
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by John Healey
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
In office
8 October 2010 – 7 October 2011
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Ed Balls
Succeeded by Stephen Twigg
Secretary of State for Health
In office
5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Alan Johnson
Succeeded by Andrew Lansley
Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport
In office
24 January 2008 – 5 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by James Purnell
Succeeded by Ben Bradshaw
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
In office
28 June 2007 – 24 January 2008
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Stephen Timms
Succeeded by Yvette Cooper
Member of Parliament
for Leigh
Incumbent
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by Lawrence Cunliffe
Majority 15,011 (31.1%)
Personal details
Born (1970-01-07) 7 January 1970 (age 44)
Aintree, Merseyside, England
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Marie-France van Heel
Alma mater Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Religion Roman Catholicism

Andrew Murray Burnham (born 7 January 1970) is a British Labour Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Leigh since 2001. He is Shadow Secretary of State for Health.

Burnham continuously held various Cabinet posts under the Premiership of Gordon Brown between 2007 to 2010, first as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Secretary of State for Health. He was a candidate in the 2010 Labour leadership election, coming fourth out of the five candidates with 8.68% of the vote.

Early life[edit]

Burnham was born in Old Roan in Aintree, Liverpool in 1970,[1] the son of a telephone engineer father and a receptionist mother. He was also brought up in Culcheth, close to Warrington. He was educated at St. Lewis' Primary School and St Aelred's Roman Catholic High School in Newton-le-Willows and the University of Cambridge, where he read for an English degree at Fitzwilliam College.[2]

Joining the Labour Party[edit]

Burnham joined the Labour Party aged 14 in 1984.[3]

Burnham was a researcher to Tessa Jowell from 1994 until the 1997 election, and joined the Transport and General Workers' Union in 1995. After the 1997 election, he was briefly a Parliamentary Officer for the NHS Confederation from August to December 1997, before taking up the post as an administrator with the Football Task Force for a year.[4]

In 1998, he became a Special Adviser to the then Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, a position he remained in until his election to Parliament in 2001.

Member of Parliament[edit]

After the retirement of Lawrence Cunliffe, Burnham applied to be the Parliamentary Candidate for the safe Labour seat of Leigh. Burnham managed to secure selection to contest the safe seat at the next General Election. At the 2001 election, he was elected with a majority of 16,362, and gave his maiden speech on 4 July 2001.[5]

In Government[edit]

Following his election to Parliament, he became a member of the Health Select Committee from 2001 until 2003, when he was appointed the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Home Secretary David Blunkett. Following Blunkett's first resignation in 2004, he went on to become the PPS to Education Secretary Ruth Kelly. He was promoted to serve in the Government after the 2005 election as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, with responsibility for implementing the Identity Cards Act 2006.

In the government reshuffle of 5 May 2006, Burnham was promoted from the Home Office to a Minister of State at the Department of Health.

In Cabinet[edit]

In Gordon Brown's first Cabinet, announced on 28 June 2007, Burnham was appointed as the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury, a position he held until 2008.

The Daily Telegraph published an interview with Burnham on 13 October 2007 in which he stated that: "I think it’s better when children are in a home where their parents are married" and "it’s not wrong that the tax system should recognise commitment and marriage", which created some controversy because following through this argument would replicate the current policies of the Conservative Party.[6]

In a re-shuffle in January 2008, Burnham was promoted to the position of Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, replacing James Purnell.[7] In June 2008, he had to apologise to the director of pressure group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, after she threatened to sue him for libel for smearing her reputation.[8]

In late 2008, Burnham announced Government plans to crack down on the Internet, tightening up controls in order to "even up" what he claimed was an imbalance with TV regulations.[9][10][11] This was followed by a speech to the UK music industry's lobbying group, UK Music, in which he announced a "a time that calls for partnership between Government and the music business as a whole: one with rewards for both of us; one with rewards for society as a whole. (...) My job – Government’s job – is to preserve the value in the system."[12]

He was promoted again to become Secretary of State for Health in June 2009. He held the post until the then Labour Government resigned after the 2010 general election.

In Opposition[edit]

Burnham became Shadow Secretary of State for Health after May 2010 and following the resignation of Gordon Brown's government.

Following Brown's further resignation as Leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister, Burnham declared his intention to stand in the subsequent leadership contest.[13] He launched his leadership campaign in his Leigh constituency on 26 May.[14] Burnham led on his philosophy of "aspirational socialism", aligning himself with Intern Aware's campaign to end unpaid internships. He also made key policy commitments to the creation of a National Care Service and also called for inheritance tax to be replaced with a land value tax instead. The leadership contest was eventually won by Ed Miliband. Burnham finished fourth with less than 9% of the total vote.

At the end of September 2010, Burnham openly criticised new Prime Minister David Cameron for the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government's public spending cuts and health reforms to the NHS.[15]

In October 2010, Burnham was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Election Co-ordinator for the Labour Party. One day short of a year later, he was appointed again to his former role of Shadow Secretary of State for Health, and has held the role since 2011.

Political controversy[edit]

Burnham was criticised during the 2010 election campaign after leaflets were sent to 250,000 women - some of whom turned out to be cancer patients - featuring a message from a breast cancer survivor who praised Labour's health policy. Burnham, the then government Health Secretary, denied that specific cancer patients had been targeted.[16]

In July 2013 The Daily Telegraph stated that Burnham's staff had edited his Wikipedia page to remove critical material. Burnham's office claimed that they had removed false statements that had been drawn to their attention.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Burnham is married to Marie-France van Heel, who is Dutch,[18] since 2000, having been in a relationship for 11 years beforehand since university.[6] The couple have a son and two daughters, and Burnham is a Roman Catholic.[19]

Burnham was the Honorary Chairman of Leigh Rugby League Club for a short period of time. Burnham was also a talented junior cricketer (playing for Lancashire CCC Juniors) and keen footballer, and competed at both sports for his college. He has played for Labour's "Demon Eyes" football team and is a lifelong fan of Premier League football club Everton.[20][21] In July 2003, Burnham played for Conference club Leigh RMI in a pre-season friendly against Everton.[22] He came on as an 88th minute substitute for Neil Robinson in the 1-1 draw at Hilton Park.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andy's biography from his Andy4Leader web-site". Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Andy Burnham : Department of Health". Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "New Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport". The Free Library. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Woodward, Will (26 January 2008). "New culture secretary keeps an open mind on licence fee". The Guardian (London: Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 5 October 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "House of Commons Hansard; vol 371, part 14, col 333". Hansard. Parliament of the United Kingdom. 4 July 2001. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  6. ^ a b Sylvester, Rachel; Thomson, Alice (15 October 2007). "Marriage is important, children do notice". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2008. 
  7. ^ "Sometimes a problem really is an opportunity... for others". Times Online. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. 
  8. ^ Percival, Jenny (23 June 2008). "Chakrabarti-Davis row: Liberty head accepts letter of apology from Burnham". theguardian.com (London: Guardian News & Media). Archived from the original on 26 June 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  9. ^ Sweney, Mark (26 September 2008). "Government to tighten up web controls". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. 
  10. ^ "The medium and the message". BBC News. 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 October 2008. 
  11. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (11 June 2008). "Andy Burnham hints at tighter control of online content". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. 
  12. ^ Andy Burnham and Charlie McCreevy speak at UK Music's first creators' conference[dead link]
  13. ^ "Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott join Labour leadership race". The Daily Telegraph. London. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010 
  14. ^ Burnham seeks to stand out from leadership crowd BBC News, 26 May 2010
  15. ^ Randeep, Ramesh (1 October 2010). "Health secretary rebuts Labour criticisms over NHS plans". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 7 October 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  16. ^ Hastings, Chris; Chittenden, Maurice; Mann, Nyta (11 April 2010). "Labour attacked over mailshot to cancer patients". The Times (London). Archived from the original on 31 May 2010. 
  17. ^ Hall, Melanie (21 July 2013). "Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham's staff deleted 'negative' Wikipedia references". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "The reality of a dream job". Guardian. 28 January 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Merrick, Jane (24 March 2013). "Keep the faith, Andy Burnham tells NHS and Church". The Independent. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  20. ^ Labour MP (22 October 2002). "Andy Burnham". BBC News. Archived from the original on 26 November 2002. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  21. ^ Brown, Colin (20 June 2008). "Andy Burnham: The Mr Nice Guy who talked his way into a nasty situation". The Independent (London: Independent News & Media). Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008. 
  22. ^ a b "Leigh RMI 1-1 Everton". EvertonFC.com (Everton Football Club). 26 July 2003. Archived from the original on 17 November 2006. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 

External links[edit]

Audio clips
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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Lawrence Cunliffe
Member of Parliament for Leigh
2001 – present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Timms
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Yvette Cooper
Preceded by
James Purnell
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Ben Bradshaw
Preceded by
Alan Johnson
Secretary of State for Health
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Andrew Lansley
Preceded by
Ed Balls
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
2010–2011
Succeeded by
Stephen Twigg
Preceded by
John Healey
Shadow Secretary of State for Health
2011–present
Incumbent