Labour leader candidate Andy Burnham 'would refuse' interview with the Sun

The Liverpool-born politician says he has not forgiven the newspaper for its coverage of the Hillsborough football disaster

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Labour leader candidate Andy Burnham has hinted that he would refuse to be interviewed by the Sun newspaper if he became party leader.

Speaking to BBC Sunday Politics North West, Burnham said that: “I don’t do special favours for newspapers that attack me and attack my party.”

He said instead that “I give interviews generally and people can report my words,” indicating that would not talk to the Sun.

Burnham told the BBC that he had not forgiven the Sun for how it covered the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

The 45-year-old MP for Leigh grew up in Aintree, near Liverpool. Ninety-five Liverpool supporters died in a crush at Hillborough stadium in Sheffield – the coverage of which saw a Sun boycott in Merseyside.

He said that former leader Tony Blair was “too close to vested interests in business and the media” which meant that “his government couldn’t hear a whole city crying injustice.”

That, Burnham added, “would never happen under my leadership.”

Tristram Hunt, who is the shadow education secretary and was at one point tipped to be a leadership contender, told the Andrew Marr show that he did not share Burnham’s views.

 “We need to reach out to those votes - we need as many friends as possible,” he said on the BBC programme.

The Sun has apologised many times for the way it covered the disaster on April 15 1989, in which 96 people died.

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