'He brings life to politics': Andy Burnham welcomes Gary Neville to the Labour team

19 January 2022, 10:27 | Updated: 19 January 2022, 10:37

By Sophie Barnett

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has told LBC the new Labour member Gary Neville "brings a bit of life to politics", as he quipped that he had "to carry" the former England star through a recent football game.

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Answering LBC listeners' calls during a phone-in with Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Burnham said it is "great news" that Mr Neville has joined the Labour team.

He quipped: "I've played in a game with him not so long ago and I think I had to carry him through that game."

The football pundit and former Manchester United star's comments come after Sir Keir Starmer told LBC he is a "big fan" of Mr Neville, in Monday's 'Call Keir' show.

He told Nick he "should go as far as he wants" in politics.

Mr Burnham echoed the Labour leader's remarks today, saying the football icon "brings a bit of life to politics".

Read more: Gary Neville joins Labour party as he refuses to rule out running for Manchester mayor

Read more: Isn’t it time to go Boris? Andy Burnham tells LBC ‘I don’t see how the PM can survive’

The football pundit announced he had joined the Labour party earlier this month, also refusing to rule out running for Manchester mayor.

Mr Neville has been a vocal critic of the the Tory Government, having most recently said, amid the partygate scandal, that No10 should be renamed "Hacienda", in reference to the legendary Manchester nightclub.

"I do believe that we need a progressive Labour party, but one that actually not just looks after the left side; it has to come towards the centre."

Following the announcement, Anneliese Dodds, who is shadow women and equalities secretary and chairwoman of the Labour party, welcomed Mr Neville to the party.

She tweeted: "A very warm welcome to Labour [Gary Neville].

"Great to have you on the red team."

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