Dugher to manage Burnham’s leadership campaign

16th May, 2015 10:03 am

Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher will be Andy Burnham’s campaign manager in the race for Labour leader. Burnham will be focussing his campaign around “reconnecting with people” – and the aim will be to utilise those who are backing him that can help do that.


Other early Burnham backers include Shadow Health Minister Luciana Berger (who will be focussed on campaigns and engaging younger voters), Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith (who will be looking at questions around the future of the UK) and the new Shadow Justice Secretary Lord Falconer (a former flatmate of Tony Blair) will bring experience to the campaign team.

Burnham’s team believe that they’re assembling a team of talents from across the party – and as the campaign progresses in the coming days, we understand their focus will be on dealing with immigration, and Labour’s relationship with business.

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  • jaydeepee

    Well at least Burnham won’t be sponsored by The Cult of Progress and swimming in Sainsbury’s moolah. I hear they’re already blaming ‘too much attention on the bedroom tax and the non-doms and not enough on those in the middle.’ guff.

    • sonic

      Ed Milibands strategy and leadership was a total catastrophe. No point in pretending it wasn’t.

      • Mukkinese

        “Total catastrophe”?

        Not total, by any means. The policies put forward were well liked when focus was on policy voters approved of Labour’s far more than those of the Tories.

        This is important in that it shows us that those same or similar policies can be presented again, but it also shows that the focus of change must be mostly elsewhere.

        In my opinion that is both to the left and right. We have to broaden out appeal. Radical ideas can be sold, but they need to be well thought through…

        • sonic

          “Labour had not just misjudged the election, but the country in which the election was held.” Dan Hodges is right.

          The British public aren’t stupid, aren’t simple and aren’t to be ignored. Repackaging and reheating failed policies from a failed campaign will end in failure.

          • Mukkinese

            Except we know very well the policies Labour’s presented were more popular than the Tories policies.

            Yougov asked thousands of voters over many months about each party’s policies and Labour’s lead almost entirely. Many of these polls are still available of YouGov’s site.

            Please supply the evidence you use to backup your claim that Labour’s policies were a significant factor in this defeat.

            Throwing out the good with the bad is foolish…

          • sonic

            I think the most credible poll we should concern ourselves with is the general election!

            It would be very easy for Labours political opponents to attack policies, especially if they were linked with a rejected loser like Ed Miliband.

      • Michael Murray

        Nonsense. We lost because we are a pro European party that was swept away by English nationalism and the Tories and their media lackeys smeared us with being puppets of the SNP. As for Scotland. they were in a mood to kick out anyone who wasn’t in the SNP to punish all those Businessmen who frightened a small majority into voting No to independence. One thing the outcome of the General Election has taught us: there is a huge appetite now in England for withdrawal from the EU. And because of the way our businessmen have spat in Labour’s face when we offered them stability by eschewing a European referendum I will be voting now for withdrawal. For years I have tried to persuade left wing friends and relatives of the benefits of remaining n the EU against their insistence that it is an undemocratic bosses’ club. Not any longer. Cameron’s reforms will help super rich businessmen. I will be voting for us to get out.

        • Paul Richardson

          What about the money we lose when the likes of Nissan withdraw from UK and head to the Czech Republic? Probably should save the money for the unemployment benefits.

      • Andy Harvey

        It was, but it was not the policies that were the problem. It was everything else from failing to provide effective opposition or countering the Tory narrative on the deficit, not providing a coherent vision but relying on some financial offers instead, taking Scotland for granted and then insulting them in the referendum, ruling out a deal with the SNP when everyone knew he would have to do one, having Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor, talking left when he wasn’t really left at all, using all those dead ‘hard working families’ type phrases that no-one listens to any more, thinking a surge in UKIP would take votes off the Tories and let him into Number 10 – the list goes on but it was not the individual policies that were the problem. Trust and credibility were.

  • bettercallsaul

    Burnham is not the answer to Labour’s problems. The problem is none of the other contenders are either.

  • Billsilver

    What fundamental principles does this man have? Let’s get those before he spouts on about the useless rhetoric he thinks we want. We don’t Andy, we want something to believe in – and that just doesn’t mean ‘we’re morally better than the Tories’ because you’re not.

  • imw101

    Just get a donkey and pin a red rosette on its head. Same thing and a lot cheaper.

    • ClearBell

      He wasn’t responsible for the Mid-Staffs hospital scandal.

      • bettercallsaul

        Burnham ibears a heavy burden of responsibility for what happened at Mid Staffordshire. He is guilty, at best of incompetence, at worst of gross negligence. A staggering 81 requests for a full public inquiry over the period twhen he (and Alan Johnson) were in charge of the health department That is the inconvenient truth and which means he shouldn’t lead the Labour party.

    • Doug Smith

      Responsibility for PFI can laid at Blair and Brown’s door.

      Though of course, Blairites will attempt to offload their disasters onto others within the LP.

      How long before they start blaming the Iraq disaster on George Galloway…

    • Dave Postles

      Have you checked when he was Sec of State for Health? He was barely in the job before Labour was gearing up for the 2010 election. Milburn was at Health. You really should stop perpetrating this nonsense. OTOH, I believe that his time has passed.

      • bettercallsaul

        11 months at health, long enough to ignore the demand for a public inquiry on several occasions into Mid Staffs for political reasons..

        • Dave Postles

          He did appoint the Francis commission.

          • bettercallsaul

            He repeatedly refused to instigate an independent public inquiry, that was created by Andrew Lansley The previous inquiry only considered individual cases of patient care, not at the systemic failure at Mid Staffs.

          • Dave Postles

            Apparently the only issue is whether the enquiry was held in public: here

  • Doug Smith

    “Burnham’s team believe that they’re assembling a team of talents from across the party”

    And that’s why Burnham deserves to win.

  • Daniel Speight

    Luciana Berger, Owen Smith and Charlie Falconer, that’s enough to get the blood stirring, isn’t it? … Well, isn’t it?

    • Monkey_Bach

      Only if they’re starring in a saucy revival of the Carry On films. Eeek.

    • Doug Smith

      Well, we’re talking about the Labour Party in 2015. It’s now a party where high hopes never exceed dismal expectations.

  • Norm

    Pick Burnham and lose in 2020. Too northern, too partisan, too left wing (yeah yeah I know he isn’t but the public don’t see it that way).

    • Mukkinese

      Perhaps someone who doesn’t look and sound like a Westminster clone will have more appeal?

      Being part of the last government and Mid-Staffs will be the major hammer-points of attack I would think.

      Red-Andy, doesn’t quite scan as well as Red-Ed and is about as likely to convince.

      Again, it was not the policies presented that lost the election. We have more evidence of this than any other assertion. Those leadership contenders who pretend that is was unpopular policy that turned voters away are the ones who we should not trust.

      Perhaps we should broaden the appeal of policies, but we should not be so foolish as to throw out the good with the bad…

    • Alec Burt

      If the country won’t elect someone because they’re ‘too northern,’ we might as well give up on England as a concept.

  • bettercallsaul

    Burnham can’t provide suitable answers to difficult questions over his role in the Mid Staffs saga. Evidence? the health election debate on the BBC on 29 4 2015. This therefore makes him an unsuitable candidate for leader.

  • swatnan

    Great interview with Marr today! First time for years that I felt relaxed listening to our future Leader speaking; before, I used to cringe waiting for EdM to slip up.
    Andy is the Unity Candidate we so badly need. But my advice: keep a bit of a distance from McClusky and Blair or they could be the kiss of death to our hopes.
    And with Caroline Flint as DL and Rachel Reeves as Shad Chancellor plus others, could be a formidable Top Team.


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