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Andy Burnham squirmed when challenged on whether it would be great for the Labour party to have a women leader on BBC 5 Live on Tuesday, as the furore over his stubborn commitment to not being female continues.
Nicky Campbell, the moderator for the hustings in Stevenage, asked Burnham: “Wouldn’t it be great to have a woman-leader?” – a troubling issue for Burnham to deal with given his lack of a vagina.
Clearly flustered by the question, Burnham mumbled “in time…when the time is right” to squeals from his two female rivals in the leadership campaign, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.
“When the right candidate comes forward,” he finished lamely, no doubt aware the twitterati were already circling:
Andy Burnham’s reply to “wouldn’t it be great to have a woman leader?” was “When the time is right”… If not now, when? #labourleadership
— Léonie Mathers (@leoniemathers) August 25, 2015
Just what Burnham was supposed to say to that question, which seems to suggest somebody would make a better leader because of their sex, is unclear. The stupidity of it was picked up by at least one Twitter user:
Some people waaaaaay too quick to take lazy offence at Andy Burnham’s woman leader ‘when the time is right’ remark. He wants to win, FFS!
— Michael Grant (@Michael_R_Grant) August 25, 2015
The near-gaff follows on from a spat in July provoked by Cooper, who complained that it would be “startlingly retro” if two men were elected to be leader and deputy leader for Labour. As if some crazy people are voting purely based on suitability for the job…
Hear the clip from BBC 5 Live below.
Image Credit – Andy Burnham, NHS Confederation 2014 by Andy Burnham