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John Prescott backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott has thrown his support behind Andy Burnham in the race to replace Ed Miliband as Labour leader and compared the former health secretary to former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Lord Prescott said he supports Andy Burnham's bid to become Labour leader. Credit: Stefan Rousseau / PA Archive/PA Images

Lord Prescott said Mr Burnham showed many of the "skills and qualities" demonstrated by Mr Blair.

In his Sunday Mirror column Lord Prescott said: "Before Tony became our leader, he spent 11 years as an MP. In that time he learned his brief, gained the -experience, handled the media and won the public's trust with an overwhelming landslide.

"I have seen a lot of those skills and -qualities in Andy Burnham during his 13 years as an MP. Many people talk about aspiration but Andy is a living example - a working class lad from Liverpool who went to a -comprehensive and got a place at Cambridge University."

He added: "Andy also has that one thing all leaders crave - the common touch. I've seen him in small groups and big meetings.

"People instantly warm to the guy. He's a family man who loves his football. He's not just faking it like Cameron to be popular...

"Tony was a winner. We now need someone who can earn the trust of the public and has an insatiable desire to help everyone get on in life."

Prescott highlights Tory loss in Cameron's constituency

Lord Prescott has highlighted that the Conservatives lost a county council seat in David Cameron's Oxfordshire constituency to Labour: