ANDY Burnham fired a fresh salvo at the Labour leadership by claiming he would have stopped the Red Wall turning Tory.
The Labour big beast said “life would have been different” if his party had picked him over Jeremy Corbyn as leader in 2015.
Labour suffered the worst defeat in nearly a century at the last general election, losing many of its northern heartland seats to the Tories in an historic drubbing.
Dubbed the King of the North for his fiery tear-ups with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Burnham has already admitted he is eyeing another run at the Labour leadership.
The Mayor of Manchester said: “I still think life would have been different if I had won. I think we would be stronger in taking on the Government.
“I don’t think we’d have lost as many northern seats had I won.”
Staking his claim to the Labour throne, he said he would not be challenging Sir Keir Starmer for the leadership “any time soon”.
But putting the leader on notice, he added that could change in different circumstances.
He said: “If there comes a point where it is clear to me that the Labour party — having not thought me right twice — suddenly thinks, ‘Well, actually you probably are now, because of the way the world has changed’ — then I will put myself forward to lead the Labour party.”
He savaged his own party for failing to come up with new, big game-changing ideas akin to the NHS.
He fears Labour now lacks the wherewithal to take on the big injustices that are blighting Britain.
The blistering attack in the Observer newspaper came as former Cabinet minister Yvette Cooper refused to rule out taking a run at the leadership when the time came.
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She also revealed Sir Keir did not offer her a post in his recent reshuffle — despite many moderates begging him to bring her in to beef up his frontbench.
After serving in the Cabinet under Gordon Brown, Ms Cooper tried and failed to get the leadership against Mr Corbyn and Mr Burnham in 2015.
She is currently chairwoman of the powerful home affairs select committee.
WEAR AND KEIR
By Julia Atherley
Sir Keir Starmer looks worn out at a seven-a-side kickabout with pals.
The Labour chief, 58, then decided to go in goal — only to let one in.
But he drowned his sorrows at a pub after the game near his North London home.