Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto has £50BN tax bombshell

16 May

Jeremy Corbyn unveiled Labour‘s most left-wing manifesto in decades today vowing to hammer the ‘rich’ and empower unions.

Deploying the language of class warfare, the party leader promised to soak nearly £50billion from the better off and business, while renationalising key industries such as rail, mail, water and energy.

A 50p top rate of tax will be imposed on those earning more than £123,000, and anyone on over £80,000 faces paying 45p in the pound.

The money is meant to fuel a massive spending splurge on the NHS, schools and scrapping student tuition fees. Overall, government budgets would increase by an eye-watering 10 per cent.

But experts immediately warned that the Labour plan – which would take the tax burden to its highest level for 70 years – is extremely unlikely to raise the sums hoped as companies and entrepreneurs will be driven abroad.

A seemingly off-the-cuff promise from Mr Corbyn to end the government’s freeze on benefits rises also descended into chaos, as the £4billion-a-year promise didn’t feature in the manifesto and he was forced to ditch it within hours.

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has admitted Labour does not know how much it would cost to bring the water industry – which is worth tens of billions of pounds – back into public ownership. 

Jeremy Corbyn deployed the language of class warfare at the Labour manifesto launch in Bradford today, vowing to target the the ‘tight-fisted’ rich

Mr Corbyn was speaking at Bradford University today, where he was cheered for saying tuition fees would be scrapped

Mr Corbyn was speaking at Bradford University today, where he was cheered for saying tuition fees would be scrapped

Mr Corbyn was speaking at Bradford University today, where he was cheered for saying tuition fees would be scrapped

Enthusiastic supporters gathered at the venue in Bradford today, many of them sporting Jeremy Corbyn merchandise

Enthusiastic supporters gathered at the venue in Bradford today, many of them sporting Jeremy Corbyn merchandise

Enthusiastic supporters gathered at the venue in Bradford today, many of them sporting Jeremy Corbyn merchandise

Mr Corbyn told activists at the launch at Bradford University today: ‘For the last seven years our people have lived through a Britain run for the rich, the elite and the vested interest.

‘They have benefited from tax cuts and bumper salaries while millions have struggled.

‘Whatever your age or situation, people are under pressure, struggling to make ends meet, our manifesto is for you.’ 

A draft of the manifesto was humiliatingly leaked last week, throwing the Labour campaign into chaos. 

But the scale of the tax and spending commitments are even greater in the final version, threatening to take Britain back to the misery of the 1970s.

Among the plans are:

  • Imposing a 50p top rate of tax on earnings above £123,000 and slashing the threshold for 45p tax from £150,000 to £80,000. Some 1.5million workers would have to pay an extra £6.4billion in income tax.
  • A fat-cat tax on businesses with high-paid staff. Employers will be charged 2.5 per cent on earnings above £330,000 and 5 per cent above £500,000.
  • A swingeing hike to corporation tax, creating a Ministry of Labour to empower unions and scrapping restrictions on strikes.
  • Increasing inheritance tax and capital gains tax, and abolishing the marriage allowance.
  • In total Labour says it will raise an extra £48.6billion in tax per year, but experts have voiced doubts about whether the sums will materialise.
  • The money would be used to pump £37billion extra into the NHS over the next five years, fund a spending splurge on schools, and scrap tuition fees.
  • All children to receive 30 hours a week of free nursery care from age two until they start school. Currently the full provision is available if both parent work. 
  • Water industry to be renationalised along with rail, energy and the Royal Mail. 
  • The manifesto does not promise to cut immigration and suggests Brexit might not happen if the EU does not offer a good deal. Mr Corbyn refused to say that immigration – currently running at a net 273,000 a year – is too high.

Labour will be hoping the manifesto can get its campaign back on track, with polls suggesting they are on track for catastrophe on June 8.

Mr Corbyn hailed ‘great’ 1970s Labour PM Harold Wilson as he set out a programme for government that is red in tooth and claw.

He told the launch event the wealthy have pocketed ‘tax cuts and bumper salaries while millions have struggled and been held back’. 

Those affected by changes to the 45p threshold would include senior teachers, police officers and doctors. 

Mr Corbyn was flanked by his closest allies, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, before he spoke today

Mr Corbyn was flanked by his closest allies, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, before he spoke today

Mr Corbyn was flanked by his closest allies, shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, before he spoke today

Mr Corbyn was greeted with rousing cheers by activists as he arrived for the speech in Bradford today

Mr Corbyn was greeted with rousing cheers by activists as he arrived for the speech in Bradford today

Mr Corbyn was greeted with rousing cheers by activists as he arrived for the speech in Bradford today

Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn's most senior aide, looked on anxiously as the Labour leader delivered his speech today

Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn's most senior aide, looked on anxiously as the Labour leader delivered his speech today

Seumas Milne, Mr Corbyn’s most senior aide, looked on anxiously as the Labour leader delivered his speech today

Labour will be hoping the manifesto launch can turn around its disastrous poll ratings, which suggest it faces being routed by the Tories on June 8

Labour will be hoping the manifesto launch can turn around its disastrous poll ratings, which suggest it faces being routed by the Tories on June 8

Labour will be hoping the manifesto launch can turn around its disastrous poll ratings, which suggest it faces being routed by the Tories on June 8

An individual on £100,000 a year would pay £1,000 more in income tax.

The complexities of the tax system mean some would face marginal rates of 65 per cent – losing almost two thirds of every extra pound they earnt.

Journalists were repeatedly booed by the audience as they asked questions of Mr Corbyn today. One Morning Star reporter asked the Labour leader what he would do about the ‘biased media’.

Challenged on why he thought polls showed he was so unpopular with ordinary voters, Mr Corbyn merely said he was ‘proud’ to lead Labour.

The leader also made a seemingly off the cuff commitment to end the freeze on benefits – a policy that does not feature in the manifesto or the costings document published by the party today and would cost billions of pounds.

Mr Corbyn gave his address in front of a board featuring the Labour manifesto slogan: 'For the many, not the few'

Mr Corbyn gave his address in front of a board featuring the Labour manifesto slogan: 'For the many, not the few'

Mr Corbyn gave his address in front of a board featuring the Labour manifesto slogan: ‘For the many, not the few’

The Labour leader hailed 1970s Labour PM Harold Wilson as he set out plans that suggested he wanted to take the country back to that period

The Labour leader hailed 1970s Labour PM Harold Wilson as he set out plans that suggested he wanted to take the country back to that period

The Labour leader hailed 1970s Labour PM Harold Wilson as he set out plans that suggested he wanted to take the country back to that period

Journalists scrambled to get copies of the manifesto after it was officially unveiled at the event in Bradford today

Journalists scrambled to get copies of the manifesto after it was officially unveiled at the event in Bradford today

Journalists scrambled to get copies of the manifesto after it was officially unveiled at the event in Bradford today

‘Yes, increasing benefits is important and clearly we are not going to freeze benefits, that is very clear,’ he said. 

The remarks wrongfooted Labour frontbenchers, who appeared to have no idea whether it was now policy.

LABOUR’S MANIFESTO AT A GLANCE 

SPENDING:

Education – £25.3bn a year

Labour promised to abolish university tuition fees, reintroduce maintenance grants and pour cash into schools.

Nationalisation – Tens of billions of pounds

Railways, water, energy companies, and the Royal Mail would all be re-nationalised.

Infrastructure – £250bn

Labour would borrow to invest in energy, transport and infrastructure.

Law and order – over £300m

Recruit an extra 10,000 police officers and 3,000 firefighters, and review the counter-terror Prevent programme. 

Work, Welfare and Pensions – £4.6bn 

Scrap the ‘bedroom tax’ and reinstate housing benefit for under-21s, review cuts to Universal Credit.

Protect pensions triple lock.

Public pay increases – £4bn

Labour will abolish the 1 per cent cap on public pay increases at an estimated cost of £4billion. 

Health and Social Care: £7.7bn

Some £5billion a year will be spent on healthcare, including the abolition of hospital car parking charges.  

Annually £2.1billion a year will go into social care and £600million will be spent on restoring nurses’ bursaries.  

TAX HIKES / SAVINGS  – £48.6bn 

Corporation tax to rise to 26 per cent by 2020/21 to bring in £19.4billion.

A 45p income tax rate on earnings over £80,000 and 50p above £123,000, bringing in £6.4billion.

A ‘fat cat’ tax on firms paying workers over £333,000 to raise £1.3billion.

A ‘Robin Hood tax’ on financial transactions will bring in £5.6billion. 

But Mr Corbyn then humiliatingly rowed back from the promise in interviews. ‘We have not made a commitment on that,’ he told Sky News. 

The party would scrap the so-called ‘Bedroom Tax’ – which means people do not receive housing benefit for spare rooms in publicly-funded homes – but would not get rid of the benefit cap.

The costings released alongside the manifesto show that Labour aims to raise £48.6 billion in additional tax each year to pay for priorities including enhanced public services.

The manifesto commits the party to a Fiscal Credibility Rule requiring a Labour government to eliminate the deficit on day-to-day spending within five years and ensure that debt is lower at the end of the next Parliament than today, but providing flexibility to borrow for investment.

Some £1.3billion will be raised through an ‘excessive pay levy’ on firms with high-earning employees and £5.6billion from a ‘Robin Hood tax’ extension of stamp duty onto derivatives. VAT on school fees will raise £1.6billion.

Expensive pledges include £11.2billion to scrap university tuition fees, £6.3billion extra funding for schools, £5billion for health and £2.1billion for social care, and £4billion to lift the Conservatives’ 1 per cent cap on public sector pay increases.

The document – entitled ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ – states: ‘We will measure our economic success not by the number of billionaires , but by the ability of our people to live richer lives.’ 

Mr Corbyn admitted after the speech that the costings did not cover proposed nationalisations ‘because we don’t know what the share price would be at the time that we do it’.

The National Grid is valued at £40billion. 

The respected IFS think tank said the manifesto plan would take taxes back to the highest level in 70 years. 

But director Paul Johnson said he was dubious that it could bring in the revenue Labour claimed, suggesting the actual figure would be more like £20billion.

‘They are suggesting a £50billion increase in tax, which if it were to be implemented would take the tax burden in this country to the highest level it’s been in about 70 years,’ he told the BBC. 

‘But, actually I think there’s an awful lot of uncertainty about whether you could actually raise that amount of tax, they’re talking about very, very large increases in taxes on companies which would likely reduce the amount of investment that they do. 

‘So I think the actual amount you could get from these policies – it certainly runs into the tens of billions – but probably doesn’t reach the £50billion that Labour are claiming.’ 

Tim Knox, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: ‘High earners are the geese that lay the golden eggs: the top 1 per cent of taxpayers already pay about 30 per cent of all income tax. 

‘Forcing them to pay more might be politically tempting but is economically crazy. Many of ‘the geese’ will either fly off to more attractive countries or just stop laying the golden eggs.’ 

The left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research has also questioned the move, pointing out that the 2012 decision to reduce the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p is thought to have cost the Exchequer only £100million.

The think-tank forecast that the tax raid would lead to ‘income shifting’ by the better off which would ‘almost certainly result in less revenue being raised than the full potential’.

The shadow cabinet looked on as Mr Corbyn told activists that Labour would target 'elites' with huge tax hikes

The shadow cabinet looked on as Mr Corbyn told activists that Labour would target 'elites' with huge tax hikes

The shadow cabinet looked on as Mr Corbyn told activists that Labour would target ‘elites’ with huge tax hikes

The Labour leader had a copy of the manifesto in front of him as he delivered his address to the adoring crowd

The Labour leader had a copy of the manifesto in front of him as he delivered his address to the adoring crowd

The Labour leader had a copy of the manifesto in front of him as he delivered his address to the adoring crowd

The leader arrived in Bradford today clutching a copy of the party's manifesto - a draft of which was embarrassingly leaked last week

The leader arrived in Bradford today clutching a copy of the party's manifesto - a draft of which was embarrassingly leaked last week

The leader arrived in Bradford today clutching a copy of the party’s manifesto – a draft of which was embarrassingly leaked last week

Challenged by Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that the cost of nationalising the water industry would be in the ‘tens of billions’, Mr McDonnell said: ‘A determination would be made by Parliament itself it has the right to do that.

JOHN MCDONNELL’S DEFICIT MUDDLE 

John McDonnell struggled when he was asked for the size of the government deficit on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

Nick Robinson: What is Britain’s deficit at the moment?

Mr McDonnell: If I can say to you, if I can say to you, that what’s happening as well in terms of day to day expenditure we need the investment, we need the investment, we need the investment….

(Noisy rustling in the background)

NR: Is somebody passing you a piece of paper? What is our deficit at the moment.

JM: Not at all.

NR: It just sounds like someone is passing you a piece of paper handed across there. What is our deficit at the moment?

JM: Our deficit is around £68 – 70 billion.

NR: I think you are being a bit kind actually, I think it is £52billion is the latest figure.

JM: Oh well the government estimate is that it was £68-70billion. 

 

‘But also we could offer bonds for shares and exchange scheme there are different mechanism that can be used….’

He added: ‘We wouldn’t want to discuss any form of price at this point in time.

‘As I say Parliament as we have seen as a result of past legal actions and legislation, parliament has the ability to set the price at which any public ownership method like this will be designated.’

Mr McDonnell admitted the costing will not be in the manifesto.’We will consult on the mechanism for going forward on this,’ he said. 

He also did not deny estimates from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies that the spending commitments amounted to £75billion a year, insisting Labour would give details later.

As Mr McDonnell was asked on the Today programme to give a figure for the deficit, it sounded like someone handed him a sheet of paper.

But when presenter Robinson suggested that had happened Mr McDonnell – who was speaking down the line from Bradford – denied it.

The left-winger then said that the ‘deficit at the moment is £68-70billion’.

But Robinson told him he was being ‘a bit kind’ and the figure was actually £52billion.

Aides to Mr McDonnell insisted he had been using the ‘full final’ figure from 2015-16, even though a 2016-17 number has been published. 

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies last year found that the top 1 per cent of earners were already paying 27.5 per cent of all income tax – up from 24.4 per cent in 2010. 

Over the same period, the proportion of working-age adults who did not pay income tax at all had risen from 34.3 per cent to 43.8 per cent, equivalent to 23million people.

Labour has also announced a massive tax raid on business, with corporation tax set to rise from 19 per cent to 26 per cent. Capital gains tax is also set to be hiked. But the manifesto leak suggests even these tax increases will not be enough, forcing the party to look at other tax rises or further borrowing.

The policy document was dubbed ‘the most expensive suicide note in history’ last week when a draft was leaked.

The income tax changes would hit wealthier workers, while many of the changes would be expected to hit the less well off indirectly by harming the economy

Shadow chancellor (pictured giving interviews this morning) was unable to say how much nationalising the water industry would cost 

While Labour set out its plans, Theresa May was visiting a primary school in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency

While Labour set out its plans, Theresa May was visiting a primary school in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency

While Labour set out its plans, Theresa May was visiting a primary school in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency

The hard Left manifesto, which proposes renationalising the railways, the energy industry and the Royal Mail, is widely seen as a desperate attempt to shore up Labour’s core vote.

New polling yesterday revealed the party was haemorrhaging votes to the Tories in former heartland areas.

The YouGov survey pointed to dramatic swings in parts of the country where the Tories have been out of the picture for decades. In the North East, YouGov identified a 10 per cent swing from Labour. The swing to the Tories in the Midlands was 7 per cent, and more than 6 per cent in both the North West and Yorkshire.

Jeremy Corbyn should stay on as leader even if his party suffers a crushing general election defeat, Clive Lewis said last night.

The former business spokesman suggested Mr Corbyn should stay on to give the party stability. 

Here are the main elements in the manifesto published by Labour today: 

‘We MUST have a Brexit deal’: Labour rules out walking away from Brexit talks despite fears of blackmail   

In line with a speech by Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, the plan would scrap Theresa May's Great Repeal Bill and Brexit White Paper

In line with a speech by Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, the plan would scrap Theresa May's Great Repeal Bill and Brexit White Paper

In line with a speech by Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, the plan would scrap Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill and Brexit White Paper

Labour has ruled out leaving the EU without a deal and promised instead to negotiate transitional deals to come into force from March 2019.

After Jeremy Corbyn refused to say Brexit would happen ‘come hell or high water’ last week, the manifesto will fuel fears a Labour government could reverse it. 

Labour’s manifesto does say the party accepts the result of the referendum.

They will immediately and unilaterally guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK – even if Britons living abroad on the bloc do not have their rights protected.

They will prioritise trying to keep the ‘benefits’ of staying in the single market and customs union. 

In line with a speech by Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer, the plan would scrap Theresa May’s Great Repeal Bill and Brexit White Paper and replace them with Labour versions.  

Labour makes NO promise to cut immigration in its manifesto as Corbyn praises foreign NHS workers  

Labour’s manifesto contains no commitment to cut immigration if Jeremy Corbyn is installed at No 10 despite Brexit meaning the end of free movement of people from Europe.

Mr Corbyn insisted migration was essential to Britain and challenged on whether immigration would ever come down under Labour he refused to say yes.

He said a Home Office run by Diane Abbott would offer a ‘fair, decent and reasonable’ set of immigration rules that looked to economic need and would avoid undercutting of wages by migrant workers.  

Net migration has dropped from its peak last year of more than 330,000 but it is still far above the Government target of the tens of thousands 

Net migration has dropped from its peak last year of more than 330,000 but it is still far above the Government target of the tens of thousands 

Net migration has dropped from its peak last year of more than 330,000 but it is still far above the Government target of the tens of thousands 

Mr Corbyn‘s plans, confirmed today after a sensational leak last week, will infuriate the millions of Labour voters who backed Brexit because of runaway immigration.

Labour instead promised to put growth and jobs ahead of ‘bogus immigration targets’ and said the party would ‘develop and implement fair immigration rules’.

Asked if immigration would fall, Mr Corbyn said: ‘Free movement that currently exists within the European Union, obviously at the time we leave the European Union that free movement doesn’t continue.

‘We will negotiate a trade agreement with the European Union that will ensure tariff-free access to the European Union and future migration will be based on a fair migration policy – a fairness towards our economy and needs of our people, and an end to the undercutting and exploitation that goes with it.

He added: ‘But bear in mind, if there hadn’t been people coming here to work in our NHS, all of us would be in far worse health than we are in the present time – just remember that.’ 

Labour’s tax bombshell revealed to be £48BILLION fuelled by higher taxes on the rich and business  

Labour’s manifesto has unveiled a vast tax bombshell of more than £48billion at the heart of his hard-left manifesto for power. 

Jeremy Corbyn would impose 45p income tax on all earnings over £80,000 and 50p tax on earnings over £123,000.

Firms with staff earning more than £330,000 would also have to pay even more as a ‘fat cat’ tax.  

Labour's manifesto has unveiled a vast tax bombshell of more than £48billion at the heart of his hard-left manifesto for power

Labour's manifesto has unveiled a vast tax bombshell of more than £48billion at the heart of his hard-left manifesto for power

Labour’s manifesto has unveiled a vast tax bombshell of more than £48billion at the heart of his hard-left manifesto for power

The plans reveal corporation tax will be raised to 26 per cent by 2020/21, to bring in £19.4bn and an offshore company property levy on homes brought by offshore trusts located in tax havens will bring in £1.6bn.

Labour will bash the city with a ‘Robin Hood tax’ on financial transactions will bring in £5.6bn. They also want an efficiency review of corporate tax reliefs will bring in £3.8bn. 

Other changes outlined include a reversal of cuts to capital gains tax, the inheritance tax, the bank levy, and scrapping the married persons’ tax allowance will raise £3.7bn.

Imposing VAT on private school fees will raise another £1.6bn – earmarked by Labour to pay for free school means. 

A 20:1 limit on gap between the lowest and highest paid workers in companies given Government contracts. 

‘We’ll buy back mail, rail, power and water’: Vast re-nationalisation programme costing billions   

Labour say railway franchises could be brought under public control as the existing contracts run out - but this does not account for all the trains

Labour say railway franchises could be brought under public control as the existing contracts run out - but this does not account for all the trains

Labour say railway franchises could be brought under public control as the existing contracts run out – but this does not account for all the trains

Railways, water providers, energy companies, and the Royal Mail would all be re-nationalised under a Labour government.

Labour’s manifesto revealed extraordinary plans for the Government to sweep back into owning and providing services that have been private for decades.

And the party has failed to say how it would pay for the project, which would be an historic reversal of political reforms. 

Labour say railway franchises could be brought under public control as the existing contracts run out – but this does not account for all the trains, many of which are owned by the private firms. 

Thames Water alone is valued at £12 billion, so the cost of bringing all the utilities and services back into public hands is likely to be hugely expensive.

At least one publicly owned energy company will be created in every region of the UK, while fracking will be banned – putting an early end to this potentially lucrative fresh energy source.

Buying back Royal Mail would cost another £4billion just four years after it was first floated on the stock market and two years after the last Government shares were sold.  

Jeremy Corbyn U-TURNS on a £4billion promise to axe the benefits freeze just minutes after making it

Labour’s manifesto launch descended into chaos this afternoon as Jeremy Corbyn U-turned on a pledge to axe the benefits freeze an hour after making it.

The Labour leader made the surprise promise while answering questions after his speech unveiling his election promises.

Axing the benefit freeze – imposed by the Tories as an austerity measure – would cost £4billion and is not detailed in Labour’s red book today.

And Mr Corbyn walked back his promise just an hour later – prompting claims from the Tories Labour was in chaos. 

Answering questions after his speech (pictured) Mr Corbyn said Labour would not freeze benefits but told reporters later he had made no commitment to meet the £4bn claim 

Answering questions after his speech (pictured) Mr Corbyn said Labour would not freeze benefits but told reporters later he had made no commitment to meet the £4bn claim 

Answering questions after his speech (pictured) Mr Corbyn said Labour would not freeze benefits but told reporters later he had made no commitment to meet the £4bn claim 

The promises Labour have made included scrapping the bedroom tax and reinstating housing benefit for under-21s.

A Corbyn government will review cuts to Universal Credit and limits on payments to first two children of families.

Paternity leave will be doubled to four weeks, paternity pay increased, maternity leave rights strengthened, and four new public holidays to mark patron saints’ days.

They will also keep the pensions ‘triple lock’ which ensures that the state pension goes up every year by inflation, average earnings to a minimum of 2.5 per cent – whichever is higher.

Labour opposes the planned increase in the pension age to 67, which is due to come into force in April 2028.

This was anticipated to save the government £60bn over ten years.

How many police officers? After Diane Abbott’s disastrous interview Labour promise 10,000 cops at a cost of £300million 

Labour has confirmed its plans to hire 10,000 police officers at a cost of £300million.

The detail will come as a relief to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who was humiliated earlier in the campaign by failing to understand the numbers.

The manifesto also promises to conduct a major review of counter-terror Prevent programme.

The detail will come as a relief to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who was humiliated earlier in the campaign by failing to understand the numbers

The detail will come as a relief to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who was humiliated earlier in the campaign by failing to understand the numbers

The detail will come as a relief to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott who was humiliated earlier in the campaign by failing to understand the numbers

The party’s election manifesto says it will take the step with a view to assessing the effectiveness of the scheme and its ‘potential to alienate minority communities’.

It adds: ‘In doing so, we will address the Government’s failure to take any effective new measures against a growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation.’

Prevent aims to intervene early and provide support for those deemed to be at risk of being drawn into violent extremism.

There were around 7,500 referrals to the initiative in 2015/16.

It has repeatedly attracted controversy, with critics labelling it ‘toxic’ and calling for it to be scrapped.

 

COMMUNIST HELPER FOR CORBYN HAS BEEN ‘CONVERTED’, SAYS MCDONNELL

Andrew Murray has been seconded from Unite to help run the Labour campaign

Andrew Murray has been seconded from Unite to help run the Labour campaign

Andrew Murray has been seconded from Unite to help run the Labour campaign

A communist drafted into help run Labour’s election campaign has been ‘converted’, John McDonnell claimed today.

Andrew Murray, who was a member of the Communist Party until December and has previously voiced ‘solidarity’ with North Korea, has been seconded from the Unite union.

His normal role is chief of staff to Len McCluskey, a key ally of Mr Corbyn.

The appointment has caused fury among Labour moderates over a hard-left takeover. 

But Mr McDonnell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We have converted him into the Labour Party and I am pleased.’ 

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