John McDonnell: Government could ‘collapse at any time’
The Labour party is “working on the basis that the government could collapse at any time”, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said.
In an interview with The Guardian, Mr McDonnell said the party needed to “divide and demoralise” the Conservatives, and demonstrate that it is “an alternative government, ready to go in.”
“People now understand what Jeremy Corbyn is as an individual. I think he’s won people’s respect. I think he’s grown in the job as well. People need to be absolutely clear about where we’re taking the country,” he added.
Tory backbenchers are starting to have doubts about their party’s economic policies, he claimed, with constituents using food banks and high levels of household debt. “Individual backbenchers are coming back from their constituencies and thinking: ‘We’ve been at this seven years now and it hasn’t worked.’
“We’ve got to divide them as much as we can; force the agenda about all those issues; and then use the parliamentary system to expose their position, and force as many votes as we possibly can.”
He claimed the Brexit debate has become “theological”, comparing making comments on the UK’s exit to “angels on the head of a pin”.
“Whatever I say, I either get condemned as a hard Brexiteer, if I’ve stated an obvious fact – or I then get condemned for selling out the referendum. It’s like angels on the head of a pin. The bottom line for me, is the new relationship we have with Europe should be designed on the basis that we can implement our manifesto.”