McDonnell: Labour can govern alone and replace May’s “zombie” administration

15th June, 2017 11:29 am

Labour could win backing from the small parties to run a minority administration and displace the Tories’ “zombie government”, John McDonnell has said.

The shadow chancellor said Theresa May’s rule was “illegitimate” as the Tory leader continued talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) over a deal to prop up her shrunken party.

McDonnell raised the prospect of winning support from the SNP and Lib Dems and said the popularity of Labour’s key policies could ensure they win “majority support” in the Commons.

Labour won 262 seats in the general election, with the Scottish nationalists on 35 and the Lib Dems on 12. The smaller party was yesterday plunged into a new leadership election when Tim Farron resigned, blaming “suspicion” over his Christian faith.

Now McDonnell, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, has told the Morning Star that Labour has not given up on winning power.

“The Labour party should have the same right to put policies forward in Parliament, to be properly debated and voted upon and to legislate as well,” he said.

“What we’ve got now is a zombie government, it cannot make legislation, so what we now need to do is say to the general public, this government isn’t going to survive, press now to make sure Labour has the opportunity of going into government.

“And if that needs another general election so be it. But our view is we can rule as a minority government, because many of the policies we’ve got in the manifesto, we believe, could command majority support in the House.”

McDonnell vowed that Labour would defeat May’s manifesto pledges if the Tories tried to get them through parliament and criticised the prime minister’s attempts to hang on to power.

“I never take any vote for granted, but I don’t think this government is a legitimate government,” he said.

“It hasn’t got an overall majority. The deals it’s doing with the DUP — we’ve still not seen what that deal is, but again it’s backroom deals which I think is unconstitutional and undemocratic.

“What I’m saying to people is they should be pressing now, because nobody won this election. The Labour party should have the same right to put policies forward in Parliament.”

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