During the last Labour leadership contest Andy Burnham ruled out running for a third time, telling PoliticsHome that he wouldn’t be standing again.
Yet in an interview with Liverpool Echo the shadow home secretary seemed to leave space for another go. When asked whether he would run again he said:
“I always thought not. I’ve tried twice and I think there’s a limit to how many times you can stand. I have the feeling that if it was to be my time it would have been this one. But you don’t know what the future brings. I’ve always said I will always serve the party in any way I can but I don’t expect to [run again].”
This kind of language seems to echo that of the Tory Boris Johnson, who when asked about the party leadership said that “if the ball came loose from the back of the scrum, which it won’t of course, it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at.”
Burnham has previously said he “definitely” won’t be standing again, but perhaps he hopes that when Labour needs a new leader he might be called on in the manner of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman dictator who only took power when called upon by the empire.
Image Credit – Andy Burnham, September 2010 by Victoria MacDonald