Jeremy Corbyn's Labour could face run on the pound, says Momentum chief

Posted On: 
23rd June 2018

A future Labour government could face a run on the pound, according to the head of the Jeremy Corbyn-backing campaign group Momentum.

Jon Lansman said he hoped Labour would not face a run on the pound, but admitted it could.

Jon Lansman, 60, who set up the grassroots network in 2015, claimed that Labour’s proposals were so radical they should expect resistance from global corporations. 

"We want to make a significant transformation. We want decisions which affect jobs and livelihoods democratised. The global corporations will resist," he told BBC Radio 4’s programme 'The Long March of Corbyn’s Labour'. 

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He went on: "Other governments have faced challenges like runs on the pound and we may face similar things. I hope we don’t. The people who are opposed to what we want to do have one thing in their favour — money. We have people."

It comes after John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, raised a similar prospect at Labour’s conference last year, saying the party should be ready for an "assault" from the establishment.

"What if there is a run on the pound?" he said. "What happens if there is this concept of capital flight? I don’t think there will be but you never know so we’ve got to scenario-plan."

Mr McDonnell later downplayed his remarks and a spokesman said afterwards that preparations were taking place for a variety of events under any government. 

But Andrew Gwynne, the Shadow Communities Secretary, said he had "sleepless nights" about failing to deliver some of Labour’s "big ticket" plans such as the promise to deliver a million more homes over 10 years.

"So many of the big-ticket promises in Labour’s manifesto will be down to local government to deliver. The worry for me is the ability and capacity of local councils," he said in an extract of the programme today.

"If we come to power on the back of massive optimism, a new way of doing things and we fall at the first hurdle then it will be very difficult to recover. We need a clear plan."

The full programme will be broadcast on Monday night.