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Monday, 14 September 2015

UK's Corbyn appoints long-time ally and fellow left-winger as Chancellor of Shadow Cabinet

Following on from Corbyn's landmark victory on Saturday comes the line-up of his Shadow Cabinet

  • The appointment of the veteran left winger John McDonnell as shadow chancellor will be controversial among many Labour MPs.
  • Mr McDonnell, who wants to nationalise the banks, recently declared he would "swim through vomit" to vote against benefit cuts in defiance of his own party line, and once said he wanted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher ( you can be the judge of the rights and wrongs of that one!)
  • BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says the logic of John McDonnell's appointment is to build an anti-austerity platform, but it is "a very big risk". She says there have been concerns within Labour about the impact it could have - and that he was warned to avoid giving his campaign manager a job
  • BBC economics editor Robert Peston has this to say
  • Shortly before the announcement of his new job on Sunday night, Mr McDonnell told a rally at the annual trade union conference in Brighton that he had been "campaigning for the nationalisation of the banks" for years - only for it to partially come true after the credit crunch. "They are jokers, these bankers".
  • This echoed his promise over the summer that a Corbyn government would nationalise industries, such as the railways and energy firms, without giving any compensation.
  • "Under a Corbyn Labour government this shameful era of governments and ministers colluding in the picking of the taxpayers' pockets will be brought to an abrupt end"
  • "Let's also make it absolutely clear to any speculators in the City looking to make a fast buck at the taxpayers' expense that if any of these assets are sold by Osborne under their value, 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."
  • Meanwhile 11 front bench Labour lawmakers have now resigned in the aftermath of Corbyn's historic victory, one even as the new leader was making his acceptance speech