20/08/2015 08:53 BST | Updated 20/08/2016 06:59 BST

The Labour Leadership Should Be Won on What Candidates Are Running for - Not Who or What They Are Against

Only about one in three of those eligible to vote in this Labour leadership election were members of the Party before May. This huge surge in support is really encouraging and while it is a sign of the disappointment felt by so many at the scale of our defeat, more importantly it reflects a keenness to be involved as the Party and the country face the future.

Election campaigns do invigorate and clarify, but in recent weeks we have at times given the impression that we are arguing with each other rather than taking the Tories to task or debating what Labour needs to do to hold true to its values and win. It's about giving leadership and I believe the best candidate to do that and to bring us together as a stronger Labour Party at the next General Election is Andy Burnham.

Andy has sought to reach out across the Party and has been absolutely right to do so, just as he has also been right to highlight the policy differences he has with Jeremy Corbyn on the economy and public services, and on international affairs. Andy sees how the world is fast changing before our eyes and knows that we have to maintain alliances to secu