John McDonnell: We’ll use every lever to block Tories’ plans

Shadow chancellor speaks exclusively to the Morning Star

14/6/2017

 

LABOUR will use “every parliamentary device that we possibly can” to block Tory proposals and pass its own manifesto commitments into law, John McDonnell reveals today.

In an exclusive interview with the Morning Star, the shadow chancellor said “zombie” Theresa May had no mandate to implement the Tory programme after the loss of its majority last week.

“I don’t think this government is a legitimate government,” he said. “It hasn’t got an overall majority.

“The deal it’s doing with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), we’ve still not seen what it is, but again it’s a backroom deal which I think is unconstitutional and undemocratic.”

He said Labour “should have the same right to put policies forward in Parliament, to be properly debated and voted upon.”

Ms May is expected to drop a number of controversial pledges in her Queen’s Speech in order to win support from the DUP.

She has also faced strong criticism from within her own party for elements of the manifesto, such as the “dementia tax” proposal to force elderly people with assets to pay for their own care.

Earlier this week, Ms May’s co-chief of staff Nick Timothy, thought to be the architect of the dementia tax, was forced out along with Fiona Hill, Ms May’s other close adviser.

Mr McDonnell said Labour would “defeat” any other controversial proposals on the floor of the House of Commons, branding Ms May’s administration a “zombie government.”

And he revealed: “What we’ll do is we’ll put forward an amendment to the Queen’s Speech which sets out some of our programme.
“After that we’ll use every parliamentary device that we possibly can to promote our manifesto policies.”

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Labour’s flagship proposals include scrapping tuition fees, renationalising the railways, scrapping the bedroom tax and introducing a £10-an-hour minimum wage.

Mr McDonnell added: “That could be individual pieces of legislation, in addition to that, it could be motions, debates, amendments to any piece of legislation the Tories bring forward.

“For example the finance Bill — we’ll try to amend that, to insert a number of our tax proposals.”