Andy Burnham has said he will attend every Everton home game even if he becomes Prime Minister.
He is currently the favourite to be elected as Labour’s new leader, which will consign him to five years of relentless media scrutiny but he insisted his beloved Everton will never be something he sacrifices. “I have a season ticket, it’s my big thing,” he told Fubar Radio.
Asked whether he would give it up if he succeeded in first winning the Labour leadership and then the 2020 election, he said: "No, never. No, never. I will always go and watch Everton. Always. Alll my life. It will never change."
So would he really put football ahead of his responsibility running the country? “Well I think it is what makes me do a better job as a politician is what I would say. That's a politician's answer isn't it?”
He also mocked David Cameron for forgetting which football team he supported during the election campaign, mistakenly urging an audience to support West Ham rather than Aston Villa. “That was funny that, it was brilliant,’ Mr Burnham said.
He has previously caused a stir when he said he would rather play for Everton in an FA Cup final than become the next Labour Prime Minister.
He was asked during the 2010 leadership contest: “If you had the choice between playing for Everton in an FA cup final, or become the next Labour Prime Minister which would you chose?”
He answered: “Everton, FA Cup final.”
Mr Burnham is a keen football player, starring in New Labour’s Demon Eyes football team and a regular for the team of Labour MPs who take on journalists at the party’s annual conference.
He plays up front but this year will be without his old strike partner, Ed Balls, after he lost his seat at the election. He assured an audience of Westminster journalists last week that he would play in this year’s match regardless of whether he is elected as the new leader on September 12.