Monday 23 September 2019

‘Andy Burn Em’: Greater Manchester mayor goes viral with response to pay jibe

After being trolled over his pay by comedian Lee Hurst, Andy Burnham responded that he actually donates 15% of his salary to charity.

Andy Burnham (Danny Lawson/PA)
Andy Burnham (Danny Lawson/PA)

By Rick Goodman, Press Association

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham was dubbed “Andy Burn ‘Em” after a fierce response to criticism from comedian Lee Hurst about his pay.

Hurst, best known for his role on sports quiz show They Think It’s All Over, aimed a number of tweets at Mr Burnham over his salary and “totally unnecessary” job.

“Andy Burnham could always take a pay cut or abolish his own post altogether to make the money they do have go further. That ain’t gonna happen though,” Mr Hurst wrote.

In reply, the Labour mayor reminded the comedian: “Actually, Lee, it is happening. I donate 15% of my salary every month to the fund I have set up to tackle homelessness.”

Mr Burnham has pledged to end rough sleeping in the Greater Manchester region by 2020 as one of his top priorities.

Soon after becoming mayor he established the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund, promising to donate 15% of his £110,000 salary to it.

The row came after the former health secretary appeared on talkRADIO and criticised the lack of public spending in England’s north, saying it stunted growth while the Government kept “shovelling” money into London.

Following the social media exchange, Mr Burnham received backing from his supporters, many of whom took aim at Hurst.

Hurst later responded by saying he had “nothing against” the mayor but believed his job was “totally unnecessary”.

“Another tax burden on the people to pay for another bureaucratic political post. Wasting more money,” the comic tweeted.

Hurst continued: “Being trolled by his supporters, who no doubt bitch that there’s not enough money for police, healthcare etc and not seeing that the waste of money is exacerbated by his wage.”

PA Media

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