Andy Burnham: The election will be the biggest split in our lives

The former Labor Health Secretary, now two-time Mayor of Greater Manchester, said voters also want deep changes in the UK state after decades of inequality.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe, he said constitutional reform that includes more autonomy for Scotland in a ‘rewired’ UK should be a priority for Labor on day one.

He said previous governments had hesitated because they failed to recognize that ending Westminster’s grip on power was the critical step in bringing about societal change after decades of inertia and decay.

Mr Burnham, second in Labor leadership to Jeremy Corbyn in 2015, spoke at a talks session with former Labor MP Neil Findlay.

Speaking to a packed audience at The Stand New Town theater about next year’s expected general election, Mr Burnham said: “Let’s be honest, I think we are facing the most uncomfortable and contentious general election that we will ever see in our lives. ”

“The Tories are into culture wars and they will make it as toxic as possible. They are already doing it.”

Referring to Tory MP and party deputy leader Lee Anderson, who had recently said asylum seekers should “fuckingly go back to France”, he said: “You see rhetoric from them that I would never see in my own political.” Life. Q, back to France?

“Can you imagine a Conservative Party elected representative in the UK Parliament using such language? Did you ever think you would experience this?

“To be honest, I can’t imagine it. And yet he’s vice chairman of the damn party.

“So we know what’s coming. What do you do in these circumstances?

“Fight in this territory or get on a completely different plane and say: no, we believe in a completely different vision of a country, which is about respect, standards, equality, justice, things that people can believe in .”

“I think that’s where the public mood is at the moment. The public realizes that rewiring is required [of the state]. I think that’s where the people are.

“The danger is that the larger the problems, the smaller the policy. That can’t be allowed.

“Obviously the opponents are cautious. But I think we’re at that point now [Labour] have put themselves in a position to listen to the country and there is an opportunity to spread this hopeful platform there.

“Personally, I think they should do that. I make no big promises and make no unfunded commitments. It would be wrong to do that.

“But there’s enough, maybe building on what we’ve done [with mayors] to say in Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire that this is the change Labor would bring.”

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