Topic: Andy Burnham

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Andrew Murray Burnham (born 7 January 1970) is a British Labour politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Leigh since 2001, and currently serves in the Cabinet as Health Secretary; prior to that appointment, he was the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Andy Burnham was born in Liverpool, the son of a telephone engineer father and a receptionist mother, and raised in Culcheth, Warrington, close to the village of Lowton (which is at the southern end of the Leigh Parliamentary Constituency). He was educated at St.Catherines primary school then went on to St Aelred's Roman Catholic High School (now St Aelred's Catholic Technology College) on Birley Street in Newton-le-Willows and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge from where he was awarded an MA in English.

He claims to have joined the Labour Party at the age of 14 in 1984 during the miners' strike, and was a researcher to Tessa Jowell MP from 1994 until after the 1997 General Election. He joined the Transport and General Workers Union in 1995. After the 1997 election he was briefly a Parliamentary officer for the NHS Confederation from August until December 1997, before taking up the post as an administrator with the Football Task Force for a year. In 1998, he became a special adviser to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Chris Smith, where he remained until his election to Parliament. He joined the UNISON trade union in 2000.

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