Today the former Health Sectary, Andy Burnham declared his intention to stand for Labour leader. He joined the race to replace Gordon Brown, by saying Labour "had our fingers in our ears and our hands over our eyes" over election issues including immigration.
In that Government, he held the posts of Chief Sectary to Treasury, Culture Sectary and then lastly Health Sectary. In his pitch to the Labour Party he promised to put an end to "stage managed" politics run by "elites". Mr Burnham also insisted he could be a unifying force for the party, suggesting that, unlike most of his rivals, he had never taken sides in the Blair-Brown infighting. "I am a team-player; I've never had time for factions".
The former Health Sectary finished off by saying Labour had to "bring back those people who have lost faith with us...I believe I can reach them, that is why I am today asking for the support of my colleagues to go forward as a candidate to lead the party I love and have served for 25 years."
Andy Burnham is the "Mr Nice Guy" of the Labour leadership in my opinion. He says he wants to re-new Labour so it can once again be the "People's Party". What he needs now is some distinctive policy ideas that sets him apart, and with his truly unifying credentials , I can see him go far in this leadership contest.