The night we had a pint with Andy Burnham

Lauren Mitchell, Andy Burnham and Danielle Chance.Lauren Mitchell, Andy Burnham and Danielle Chance.
Lauren Mitchell, Andy Burnham and Danielle Chance.
Two young Labour supporters spent a night in a Hucknall pub with the odds-on favourite to be the party’s new leader - Andy Burnham.

Danielle Chance (22) and Lauren Mitchell (19) were sitting in the Green Dragon on Watnall Road, three days before the election, when they spotted the Shadow Secretary of State for Health and invited him over.

The pair were both candidates in the local elections: Lauren won Hucknall South and is now an Ashfield district councillor, while Danielle, who won the third highest number of votes in the district, was pipped to the post by 91 votes in Hucknall West.

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Danielle said: “It was actually quite funny because we were having a political debate and then we turned around and saw him. He was due to address a rally in Hucknall market place the next day.

“We sat with him until closing time and chatted about quite a few things.

“I thought he was really nice and he wished us good luck, He said it was really good that people of our age were being councillors and offered us some work experience in the House of Commons.

“I would support him as the leader of the Labour party - he is a genuine man and he’s quite down to earth.”

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Despite being Labour supporters, the pair couldn’t resist firing some tough questions at the MP for Leigh.

Danielle, who is a dental nurse at Market Street Dental Care, quizzed Mr Burnham about loopholes which allow unscrupulous dentists to put profit before patients and potential problems with a new NHS contract.

She said; “He said it was interesting to hear from someone who works in the industry and said he would look into it. He was sympathetic to practises like ours.”

Meanwhile, Lauren asked him about funding for mental health.

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Mr Burnham served as health secretary under Gordon Brown and previously as culture secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury.

He stood for the leadership in 2010 but lost out to Ed Miliband, going on to hold the shadow health brief under Mr Miliband’s leadership. Declaring his intention to stand, he said Labour must support the ‘aspirations of everyone’.

He is currently odds-on favourite, at 8/11, to win the Labour leadership