McDonnell hits back over U-turn
JOHN McDonnell has defended his U-turn over Labour’s economic policy, insisting he changed his mind about supporting George Osborne’s plans after meeting families affected by the closure of Redcar steelworks.
The shadow chancellor originally said he would back Mr Osborne’s plans for the Government to run a budget surplus.
Mr McDonnell (above) said he viewed the updated Charter of Budget Responsibility as “meaningless” and had intended to “ridicule” it in the debate on Wednesday – but still vote in favour of it.
His U-turn has exposed bitter divisions within the Parliamentary Labour Party about the approach taken by Mr McDonnell and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour will now vote against the measure, but Mr McDonnell insisted: “We are not deficit deniers”.