ANDY Burnham is stepping down as the MP for Leigh.

The former shadow home secretary is hoping to become the first elected mayor of Greater Manchester next month.

But even if he fails to be elected on May 4 he has decided not to stand in the upcoming general election.

Mr Burnham said: “The general election comes just after the mayoral elections and changes my plans a little bit.

“It is a difficult decision and a real wrench for me but I won’t stand in the general election regardless of if I win or lose. The timings do not work and Labour need a candidate in place.

“I genuinely believe I will be able to do more for Leigh as mayor of Greater Manchester than as the town’s MP.”

Labour need to nominate a replacement to represent Leigh in the general election by the deadline of May 11.

Mr Burnham says the party will be making an announcement regarding his replacement in the coming days.

He would not reveal the exact date he will be stepping down.