As Andy Burnham waits to find out whether he will be spared another 18 months of scrutiny for his past sins, Guido reveals in his Sun column that on the day families of Mid Staffs victims launched a national campaign in memory of those who died of neglect, Burnham’s department bought 18 bottles of Charles Lafitte champagne with taxpayers’ money. They were forced to drink water from vases, Burnham’s department drank champagne.
Then the Health Secretary cancelled a meeting arranged with the campaigners at the last minute. Just what was so important that he let down grieving relatives? Burnham’s diary shows he spent that day at a trade union event. Prioritising his union paymasters over the Mid Staffs families so badly let down. And where was he the day the inquiry into the deaths began? Checking into the luxury St. Regis Hotel in Washington DC and enjoying a boozy £431 dinner.
If Miliband does fire Burnham it probably won’t be for the failings at Mid Staffs, nor his department’s taxpayer-funded contempt for families. Miliband knows that whenever you see “Shadow Cabinet sources” attack the Labour leadership in the papers, more often than not they are the words of one of his old rivals for the Labour leadership. Burnham hardly gave his leader a cosy summer either.