Andy Burnham has claimed he could have helped the Labour Party retain its 'Red Wall' seats had he been elected leader of the party.

Mr Burnham, last week re-elected as Mayor of Greater Manchester, ran for the leadership in 2015 when he was defeated by then backbench MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Following some success in the 2017 general election, Mr Corbyn left his post following the 2019 election in which the party suffered its worst defeat since the 1930s.

This included losses in many northern seats considered Labour heartlands, so much so they were often dubbed the 'Red Wall.'

Following the party's defeat to the Tories in a by-election in Hartlepool last week, another previous Labour stronghold, Mr Burnham says he believes things could have been different had he been elected leader six years ago.

Andy Burnham was beaten to the leadership in 2015 by Jeremy Corbyn

“I still think life would have been different if I had won in 2015,” he told The Observer.

“I think we would be stronger in taking on the government on levelling up.

"I don’t think we’d have lost as many northern seats had I won.”

He said he doubted the current Labour party would found the NHS as the party did in 1948 as it "hasn’t seemingly got that wherewithal anymore to take on a big injustice.”

A new opinion poll claims Mr Burnham is seen as the most likely and able successor to Keir Starmer as the next Labour leader.

And Mr Burnham, who also ran for the leadership in 2010, made clear he would be willing to stand again after the next general election if he had widespread support The Observer 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 as I say, I will put myself forward to lead the Labour party" he said.

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