John McDonnell, the campaign agent of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid for the Labour Party, has confirmed that assets may be seized as part of a programme of renationalisation.
Corbyn has pledged to start with nationalisation of the energy and railway industries and McDonnell confirmed that assets may be seized without compensation. Asset holders include pension funds and charities but Corbyn has yet to comment further on the potential seizure. McDonnell said:
“A future Corbyn-led Labour government will reserve the right to bring them back into public ownership with either no compensation or with any undervaluation deducted from any compensation for renationalisation”.
The comments drew criticism from Labour MPs including Yvette Cooper, who is also standing for the leadership of the party. She said:
“You can’t confiscate assets and you can’t print money to pay for things because that has a much wider impact on the economy and confidence in the British economy”.
Chris Leslie, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, also expressed concern at the comments made by the Corbyn campaign team. He said:
“We have a right to know and, so far, I have not received an explanation”.