John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been criticised for quoting Chairman Mao in his response to the annual spending review. It is thought that up to 60 million Chinese died due to the economic policies of Mao Tse-tung.
Chris Leslie, Labour’s previous Shadow Chancellor said after McDonnell’s comments that it was “a misjudged stunt”.
Chuka Umunna, Labour’s former Shadow Business Secretary said:
“I haven’t quoted a Communist before and I have no intention of doing so in the future”.
During questioning by the BBC McDonnell didn’t apologise but said about the former Chinese leader:
“I condemn all that”.
A poll for ComRes has shown that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party hasn’t experienced a honeymoon period as would usually be expected for a new leader. The Conservatives polled 42% (up 2%), Labour 30% (up 1%) giving the Conservatives an increased lead of 12%.
Asked about individual figures those polled named Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, the new Shadow Chancellor, as those they least liked. 52% of those polled did though credit Jeremy Corbyn with increasing interest in politics.
John McDonnell has apologised on BBC’s Question Time for comments he made regarding the IRA and the peace process.
McDonnell had said:
“It’s about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table. The peace we have now is due to the action of the IRA. Because of the bravery of the IRA and people like Bobby Sands, we now have a peace process.”
The comments had drawn widespread condemnation across the political parties and McDonnell said:
“I think my choice of words was wrong. I accept that”.
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”.