John McDonnell squirms as he is grilled on losing core Labour voters on BBC Breakfast
Labour’s John McDonnell argued former Labour Party voters will be “bitterly disappointed” as he claimed the Conservatives won’t follow through on their infrastructure plans. The Shadow Chancellor also feared the Government aren’t tackling climate change and won’t be forgiven for not acting on it. He squirmed as BBC host Nina Warhurst asked how Labour plan to win voters back on an argument which lost them seats in the December general election.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mr McDonnell said: “If they had taken our advice and invested a few years ago we would have grown our economy.
“What we have to do is recognise that interest rates are at an all-time low.
“We’ve got to use that opportunity and yes, we do have to borrow more to tackle the existential threat of climate change.
“If we don’t do that, our children and grandchildren will never forgive us.
“Unfortunately what happened on the infrastructure spend under this Government failed to invest in what we were doing in 2010.
“They created a £192billion hole in infrastructure spending and all they’re doing now is half filling it, unfortunately.
“I regret what they’ve done over the last 10 years. They got us into this mess and I’m afraid the scale investment they’re bringing forward and timing of it isn’t going to address these issues.”
The BBC host noted the Government said it’s £600billion over the next four years.
But Mr McDonnell argued: “£500billion of that was already announced. Yesterday was just a series of re-announcements.”
She added: “A Labour councillor told me he’s ‘stamping on our turf’. What are you going to do now?
“Where do you go with the Red Wall of the north after losing seats in the last election? These policies are winning votes over even more. How do you get them back?”
The Shadow Chancellor explained: “I think they’ll be bitterly disappointed because unfortunately yes we have shifted them a bit but certainly not enough to tackle the problems that are needed our crisis and our public services.
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“But more importantly I think to tackle climate change threat.
“In fact, I think they’re taking us backwards on that one with £27million investment in roads.”
The host asked: “Why would that message work now when it didn’t work three months ago?”
Mr McDonnell added: “I think people will be extremely disappointed and as this Government fails to deliver for them I think you’ll see that period.
“We’ve had a decade of decline under the Conservatives, we’ve had a decade of austerity.”
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