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    Burnham enters race for Labour leadership


    by ODN


    Former health secretary Andy Burnham launches his bid for the Labour leadership with a pledge to create a "People's Party".

    As the the fifth candidate to declare, Mr Burnham said he would put an end to "stage managed" politics run by "elites".

    The comments - in an article for the Daily Mirror - came hours after ex-children's secretary Ed Balls and left-winger John McDonnell confirmed that they would be contenders.

    David Miliband and his brother Ed - the former foreign and energy secretaries - announced last week that they would be running.

    Mr Burnham insists he can be a "unifying" force for the party, suggesting that - unlike most of his rivals - he has never taken sides in the Blair-Brown infighting.

    "I am a team-player; I've never had time for factions," he wrote.

    He says he is different from the other candidates because of his working class background and he promises to move away from the spin which has blighted much of New Labour politics over the past 13 years.

    He wrote: "We should bring down the final curtain on the era of stage-management in politics, making our party conference a forum for real debate and drama once again."

    He says Labour has to "bring back those people who have lost faith with us".