'I'll reject 10% pay rise' insists favourite Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham while David Cameron drops formal opposition

Parliamentary watchdog has proposed a £7,000 pay rise for MPs

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Indy Politics

The leading candidate to become Labour's next leader has promised to reject the proposed 10 per cent rise in MPs' pay.

Andy Burnham said the planned £7,000 salary increase for MPs "cannot be justified" and insisted he would turn it down or hand it to local charities.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) was given the power to decide MPs' pay, taking the decision away from MPs themselves, but with many public sector workers experiencing pay rises of just 1 per cent, their proposed increase from £67,070 to £74,000 is causing politicians a lot of difficulty.

It said the rise would go ahead at the end of the month unless "new and compelling evidence" emerged. The rise would be backdated to 8 May if approved.

Yesterday Downing Street confirmed that David Cameron would drop his formal opposition to the pay rise, despite previously strongly opposing the rise due to public sector austerity.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said he "doesn't agree with the proposed increase," but said he would accept the pay increase.

A Labour party spokesman said it would "feel wrong" if Ipsa proposed an increase in pay for MPs "when so many people are struggling".

Taking to Twitter to announce his stance, Mr Burnham said:

Mr Burnham is the frontrunner to take over from interim leader Harriet Harman when the result is announced on September 12. The other contenders are Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and outsider Mary Creagh.