Memo to the Telegraph: dinner suits are also available in The North

This attack on Andy Burnham as a 'metropolitan elitist' is a recycling of the campaign against Ed Miliband


This morning the Telegraph’s website has exposed Andy Burnham for what he is: a man who sometimes dresses smart.

The story’s click-hungry headline (the Telegraph has spent £8million on its digital operations) about the Labour party leadership hopeful runs:

“Andy Burnham says he’s not part of the ‘metropolitan elite’. So what about this picture then?”

What follows is a picture of Burnham in a black suit, with a white shirt and bow tie, posing for a photo with fellow members of a Labour-affiliated amateur football team.

As you can see from the photo, (and do click on the link – it makes them happy), he looks like an ordinary bloke at a wedding.

It may come as a surprise to the Telegraph, but dinner suits are also available in ‘the north’.

But the Telegraph believes this photograph is proof of Burnham’s secret membership of something called ‘the metropolitan elite’. More ‘proof’ is laid out in a summary of his career in politics and the jobs held by people he knows.

And this from a newspaper owned by two billionaires who live in tax havens in Monaco and the Channel Islands!

This ‘metropolitan elite’ line is a recycling of the Tory press attacks on Ed Miliband.

Simply put, the trick goes like this: Labour politicians have more money and a better education than you, dear reader. This makes them hypocrites when they talk about helping disadvantaged people.

Tories, by contrast, make no such pretence, are proud of their privilege, and supposedly want everyone to have the same opportunities as they did, (even though this is impossible by definition).


Thus attacks on the gob-smacking elitism of the Tories are ‘anti-wealth’, ‘anti-business’ and ‘class war’, but attacks of the same nature on Leftists and Labour are a righteous puncturing of hypocrisy.

As the debate about Labour’s election defeat continues, it’s worth noting that if Labour decides to talk less about class, that won’t stop Tories talking about it.


The football team Burnham is pictured with in the Telegraph take-down was called Demon Eyes, after a Tory scare campaign against the ‘danger’ of… Blairism. How times change.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Daily Mail uses Prince Charles’s black spider memos to attack Labour’s Andy Burnham

Never mind the unions. What about the Sun’s influence on the Labour leadership contest?

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.

9 Responses to “Memo to the Telegraph: dinner suits are also available in The North”

  1. AlanGiles

    At least Andy Burnham sounds like an ordinary everyday man – none of the effette Blair “poshness”, he seems classless. By contrast poor Yvette sounds like she is trying to sound like the Queen – in London I wonder what the Telegraph makes of Dame Jowell?

    Whoever Labour select they are going to get this sort of publicity

  2. Selohesra

    They could do worse than Alan Johnson as temp leader to reconnect with people – he could step aside 18-24 months before next election for someone more ambitious who has had chance to prove themselves. Current candidates don’t seem up to much so maybe someone from 2015 intake may break through by then.

  3. Cat

    I wish Johnson was running- he seems generally well-liked within the party so getting the nominations would not be a problem but he keeps saying no.

  4. Cat

    Its always amusing how quickly the right wing press get into the insults.

  5. Patrick Nelson

    At least he has charisma, unlike Harriet Harman who has all the charisma of a zombie after a face transplant God bless her.

  6. Patrick Nelson

    The Tory press seem frightened of Andy Burnham like they were frightened of Ed Miliband, at this early stage they are already pulling out all the stops in their campaign against him, only the flat business and the Staffordshire NHS thing remain to be fully exploited. Right now the Sun are probably expending all sorts of energy to pull up any story at all that would allow them (with the vaguest connection) to call him “Randy Andy” to their utter delight.

  7. MariaJTorres

    nowRead this leftfootforward. ….. Here’s a Blog


  8. Arthur ASCII

    Personally, I HAVE never and WILL never wear a “dinner suit”. Why on earth do people want to wear a uniform to a social event outside of a fancy dress ball?

  9. Mark

    Dinner suits are indeed available up north….I managed to get a wonderful dinner suit from who I believe are based in Leeds, part of the northern powerhouse ;o)!

Leave a Reply