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Andy Burnham to run for Manchester mayor

Andy Burnham is bidding to become the first mayor of Manchester Credit: PA

Labour MP Andy Burnham has said he will run to be the party's candidate for Manchester mayor.

Mr Burnham has been an MP for his Leigh constituency since 2001, and has twice stood for the Labour leadership - against Ed Miliband in 2010 and Jeremy Corbyn last year. He said earlier this month he was considering running to be mayor.

The elections for the first directly elected Manchester mayor will take place in 2017.

Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Burnham said he would leave the Commons if he was elected.

The mistake Labour made in Scotland was that when devolution came, we didn’t field our biggest names and consequently it looked like we didn’t take it seriously enough. We can’t make that mistake again.

For me this is a cabinet-level job, which needs cabinet-level experience. And it needs somebody who is going to devote themselves to it and grab it with both hands.

– Andy Burnham MP, speaking to the Guardian

Mr Burnham is expected to announce his mayoral bid in Manchester on Thursday. His Twitter handle - used for his Labour leadership bid last year - has already changed to @andy4manchester.

The other candidates who have so far confirmed that they will be running for the position include: Tony Lloyd, standing for Labour: Interim Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner Ivan Lewis, standing for Labour: Bury South MP