Culture Secretary to rock Albert Hall

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Indy Politics

A cabinet minister is to make a surprise effort to be Labour's new frontman this week.

However, the Secretary of State for Culture, Andy Burnham, is not launching an audacious challenge to unseat Gordon Brown – he is appearing on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mr Burnham, who is said to be "handy" with a guitar and has an "angelic" singing voice, is expected to make a performance during a set by MP4, the world's "only parliamentary rock band". It is believed to be the first time a serving member of the Cabinet has played at the illustrious venue.

Liverpool-born Mr Burnham, 37, is tipped as a future leader of the Labour Party.

But the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, are ahead of him in the odds to succeed Mr Brown and have made more orthodox profile-raising speeches in recent days. It is not known what song Mr Burnham has chosen for the event.

The band also features the Labour MP for Brigg and Goole, Ian Cawsey, junior education minister Kevin Brennan, Conservative MP Greg Knight, and SNP MP Pete Wishart.

The concert is being shown on Sky Arts channel 267 on Friday 23 May at 8.50pm

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