WATCH: John McDonnell accuses Alastair Campbell of 'macho, threatening politics' in heated TV clash

Posted On: 
11th February 2018

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has engaged in an angry clash with former spin doctor Alastair Campbell, accusing him of a "macho" approach to politics.

John McDonnell appearing on Peston on Sunday this morning John McDonnell appearing on Peston on Sunday this morning
Credit: 
ITV1/Peston on Sunday

The pair went head-to-head on ITV1's Peston on Sunday after Mr Campbell tore into Labour's Brexit policy. 

The former head of Downing St communications claimed there was nothing to choose between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May's approach to leaving the EU.

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"They're basically saying, whatever the cost, whatever the chaos, whatever the damage to the economy, whatever the Brexit impact assessment's saying...we are still basically on the road out and it doesn't matter what happens, that is going to happen," he said.

 

 

This prompted an irritated response from Mr McDonnell, who said: "That's the sort of macho, threatening politics that has divided this country, what we need to do now is have a rational, moderate debate about the pros and cons of our future and what relationships we need. 

"To exaggerate individual people's or party's positions doesn't help that...We're saying we respect the referendum result and we have to build a new relationship with Europe which will bring our people together again."

Labour's position on Europe has caused serious internal ructions, with dozens of MPs defying Mr Corbyn last month by voting in favour of keeping the UK in the EU internal market and the customs union.