ANDY Burnham and Nicola Sturgeon have been engaged in a war of words which has attracted the eyes of the entire UK media.

Burnham first attacked the SNP leader after she announced a travel ban between Scotland and the English cities of Manchester and Salford due to their high Covid rates.

He claimed there was no warning, and is demanding compensation for those from his area who may have lost out on travel bookings due to the rule change. 

In response, the First Minister has suggested that Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, is aiming to raise his profile by attacking her on a national stage.

READ MORE: Murdo Fraser under fire for telling people to come to Scotland despite ban

Sturgeon says this could be a ploy to help in a rumoured third attempt at the Labour leadership from the former member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet.

But Burnham refutes this allegation. He says he aims to be nothing more than a successful mayor of his metropolitan area.

So why the war? Is it a comment on the differing powers of a devolved mayor and a devolved nation? A power struggle for the UK’s north?

Lesley Riddoch looks at all of this, and asks: what is really happening behind the scenes in the public battle between Burnham and Sturgeon?