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Burnham one of favourites for Labour leadership position



Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham is one of the favourites to become new leader of the Labour Party following Ed Miliband’s resignation.

Leading bookmakers are promoting bets after Mr Miliband, who was re-elected as MP in his Doncaster North constituency with 52% of the vote, announced his resignation this afternoon, with Mr Burnham second favourite at Ladbrokes, William Hill and Paddy Power alike.

William Hill has Mr Burnham with odds of 9/4 but shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna is the favourite with odds of 7/4. It places Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, in third with odds of 3/1.

On Twitter, Mr Miliband said: ‘I am grateful to the people who worked on our campaign and for the campaign they ran. The responsibility for the result is mine alone.

‘Defeats are hard, but we’re a party that will never stop fighting for the working people of this country.’

Mr Burnham has been shadow health secretary for the past five years, following a short stint as health secretary in Gordon Brown’s final cabinet.

He was a key member of the Labour election bid, emphasising the party’s plans to repeal the Health and Social Care Act and stop what he saw as the creeping privatisation of the health service.

The shadow health secretary also proposed to re-introduce 48-hour guaranteed GP appointments for patients.

As previously reported, GP practices are on course for seven-day opening as the Conservative Party secured a Parlimentary majority in yesterday’s general election.