Burnham: Scotland and northern England co-operation would bring ‘a better world’

Higher Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has referred to as for extra co-operation between the north of England and Scotland, saying any transfer to take choices with out Westminster involvement would result in “a better world”.

In an interview with the Sunday Mail, Mr Burnham mentioned there have been “a lot of alternatives” for the north of England and Scotland to work collectively.

He mentioned: “There’s additionally a lot of alternative for collaboration the place Scotland and the north could possibly be working collectively to create jobs, enhance our housing inventory and be certain that youngsters aren’t residing in chilly, damp properties.”

The minute the north of England begins taking choices with Scotland with zero reference to Westminster, it would be a better world to me

Andy Burnham

Mr Burnham was elected mayor in 2017 after standing down as Labour MP for Leigh in Higher Manchester, a seat he had held since 2001.

Broadly tipped as a future Labour Occasion chief, Burnham ran twice, shedding to Ed Miliband in 2010 and Jeremy Corbyn in 2015.

However he says for now he’s now extra occupied with working straight with the Scottish Authorities after assembly SNP First Minister Humza Yousaf earlier this week.

Mr Burnham mentioned: “I’m eager to speak to him concerning the reindustrialisation of Scotland and the north of England by way of internet zero.

“This can be a real alternative however on the UK-level it’s more and more clear that there’s a determined and nasty try and make the subsequent election a extremely divisive tradition battle.”

The Higher Manchester mayor additionally talked concerning the state of British politics and mentioned the appropriate will attempt to divide folks by “going after the bottom frequent denominator”.

Mr Burnham added: “We’ve hit some extent the place the nation is essentially damaged.

“I’m certain it’s the similar in Scotland. There may be sewage on the seashores and within the rivers, trains don’t run correctly, folks can’t afford to warmth their houses on a traditional wage – it’s chaotic and wants to alter.”

Hitting out on the “Westminster system”, Mr Burnham mentioned the north of England will “by no means be equal” to the remainder of the UK if the present construction stays.

Earlier this week at an Edinburgh Fringe occasion, Mr Burnham mentioned the parliamentary whip system could possibly be scrapped.

He additionally agreed with Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar on scrapping the two-child profit cap, calling it an “immoral coverage”.

The Conservatives take this robust line on advantages as a result of they need it to be a wedge concern

Andy Burnham

Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer has drawn criticism for suggesting that eradicating the two-child profit cap would not be a precedence for his social gathering in authorities.

Mr Burnham mentioned: “The 2-child coverage is inflicting actual hardship – it’s driving youngster poverty and homelessness.

“I perceive the place Keir is coming from as a result of it’s not simply the two-child cap, you might have the advantages cap total, the two-child coverage and the freeze on native housing allowance, and it’s the impact of all this stuff collectively that’s actually brutal and appalling.

“The Conservatives take this robust line on advantages as a result of they need it to be a wedge concern. George Osborne launched the two-child cap to divide folks – it was an immoral coverage.”

Nonetheless, Mr Burnham mentioned governments needed to be aware of spending commitments.

He added: “I don’t suppose there may be as a lot of a divide as folks say between Scottish and UK Labour on this.

“I’ve been in authorities and I do know you may’t simply go round making commitments with out correctly saying how they are going to be paid for.”

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