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Burnham to leave shadow cabinet to focus on mayor race

Andy Burnham made the announcement at Labour's party conference.

Andy Burnham is leaving the shadow cabinet to focus on his campaign to become the next mayor of Greater Manchester.

The shadow home secretary and former leadership contender told the Labour Party conference: "It is time for me to turn my full focus to Greater Manchester.

"That's why I can tell you all first today that I have asked Jeremy to plan a new shadow cabinet without me, although I will of course stay until it is in place.

"I have given my all to this Party and always put its interests above those of factions and personalities. And I have given exactly the same loyalty to all four of the Labour leaders I have served."

The mayoral election will take place in 2017 at the same time as scheduled local elections in May.

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Burnham: I would lead a 'proudly pro-European' party

Andy Burnham has warned against flirting with the idea of a British exit from the European Union and said the Labour party under his leadership would be "proudly pro-European."

Andy Burnham says flirting with EU exit puts people's jobs and future prosperity at risk. Credit: PA

Burham insisted that a British exit would put jobs and the economy at risk, and said it was time to "nail our colours firmly to the mast".

Speaking at a campaign event in Swansea, Mr Burnham said:

"To flirt with exit from the EU is to put people's jobs, communities and future prosperity at risk. This is no time to cut ourselves off from our largest market. It is time to nail our colours firmly to the mast.

"Any Labour Party I lead will be proudly pro-European and will instantly set about the task of securing our membership of the EU."

The warning comes after Mr Corbyn suggested that Labour could hold a special conference before deciding its response to any EU reform package proposed by David Cameron.

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