|Andy Burnham with singer-songwriter James Holt|
The Mayor of Greater Manchester is a legend in his own mind. The bookies' favourite to succeed Keir Starmer is probably the only person who could watch his musical performance earlier this week and think that it was anything other than toe-curling. On Monday Burnham was at the launch of the Greater Manchester Music Commission, a scheme to support the region's music scene. Burnham said: "Greater Manchester is a global capital of music, but we must always be wary of trading on past glories and resting on our musical laurels". Music lovers in Austin, Nashville, Vienna and closer to home - in Liverpool - may dispute that assertion.
At the end of his speech Burnham picked up a guitar and strummed aimlessly while asking the audience for song suggestions. In the end the actual musician stood next to him suggested the Oasis hit 'Wonderwall'. After trying briefly to play the riff he handed the guitar to the professional and said: "I'll sing if you play". Panic then set in as he realised he didn't know the lyrics and searched for them on his phone. In the end, he still got it wrong.
A longer version of the above clip can be found at the Manchester Evening News. One reader commenting on the article wrote: "He needs a wonderwall built around him, so he can't do any more damage".
One other thing to note about Burnham's latest ego-driven appearance was the complete lack of Covid measures in place. You may recall that Burnham was one of those Labour politicians who hit out at the removal restrictions last month, face masks in particular. Was he wearing a mask at this indoor event? Rules for thee, but not for Andy.