Sunday shows: McDonnell on manifesto costings and antisemitism

The Andrew Marr Show

John McDonnell denied wanting to overthrow capitalism, before defending Labour’s WASPI pledge and other manifesto commitments. He said the Jewish Labour Movement’s report on Labour antisemitism was “well out of date”, and apologised to the Jewish community for “the suffering we’ve inflicted on them”.

The manifesto and its costings…

  • On whether he wants to “overthrow capitalism”: “I want to transform our economy… It means transforming capitalism into a new form.”
  • On funding Labour’s WASPI pledge: “In the normal way, when a government has to meet a historical injustice, we’ll have to identify that funding either from the headroom we inherit or we’ll borrow. And I don’t shy away from that… The headroom that the OBR and others have said that we might inherit is down to about £6bn, so the bulk of this will be borrowed. But it’s the right thing to do.” Added: “You’re talking about interest rates of 1% or less.”
  • On funding the end and reversal of privatisation in the NHS: “It’s cost free.” He explained: “We won’t be buying back. The contracts end, and it’ll then be maintained in-house and it’ll be cheaper and more efficient and more effective.”
  • On Labour’s tax increases: “There will be no increase in the income tax rates for the 95%, or VAT, or National Insurance. The top 5%, yes, they’ll pay a bit more… I also said we’ll have a fair taxation system.”
  • On scrapping the marriage tax allowance: “We’ve opposed that from when it was introduced… What they’ll lose is about £250 maximum. What they’ll get in return is free childcare, if they’re on minimum wage they’ll have a £3,500 nearly increase, if they’re working for the public sector £1,600 pay increase on the 5% we’re giving them.”
  • On the argument for keeping the allowance: “Do you mean to tell me that people are getting married for £250?”

Labour and antisemitism…

  • On the Jewish Labour Movement report: “It’s well out of date. My understanding is… the individuals they’ve named have been kicked out. The numbers they’re talking about, we’ve dealt with a significant amount.”
  • On whether there are 136 outstanding antisemitism cases: “My understanding is well below that… There will be a report in the normal way in January.”
  • On why he hasn’t resigned his presidency of the Labour Representation Committee: “I’m working within the LRC to challenge those issues. I think I can turn the LRC around on these particular issues. There’s a debate going on.”
  • On the potential electoral impact of antisemitism: “I worry that this has had its effect. We’ve done everything, I think, that we can possibly do. We’ve apologised to the Jewish community. And I repeat that.”
  • Nothing more you can do? “Well, wait a minute. We’ve always got to learn lessons, of course we have. All political parties. It isn’t just the Labour Party. I want us to be a shining model. I apologise to the Jewish community for the suffering we’ve inflicted on them.”

Brandon Lewis denied there was Russian money funding the Conservative Party in this campaign. Nicola Sturgeon apologised for missing NHS targets in Scotland.

Ridge on Sunday

Boris Johnson appeared first and repeatedly put across his key messages of having 50,000 more NHS nurses, building 40 new hospitals and other campaign lines that have been shown to be misleading.

Jon Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, appeared next to highlight Labour’s social care policy.

Immigration and Brexit…

  • On Tory immigration policy: “He is misleading the British people because he is trying to give them the impression that he is going to bring immigration down but… he is saying he is going to hand over decisions on who will get a visa to an independent committee. He said the committee will be independent… so he is misleading people when he says he is bringing immigration down because there will be no democratic control.”
  • On Labour’s proposals for immigration: “We want an immigration system which reflects your needs in the economy.”
  • Would you be happy to see immigration levels go up? If the economy needs it then of course people should come here to work in our economy.”
  • On whether free movement would end under Labour Brexit: “Well, that depends what’s in the deal doesn’t it?” Added: “I think actually free movement has been good for the UK economy.”
  • On whether he rules out supporting a Labour Brexit: “I think our country’s best interests are served by Remain, but I also am aware that the country needs to make the final decision.”

Social care…

  • Labour’s policy: “We are going to put more support in, we’re going to fund it properly, £10bn extra, and we’re going to introduce free personal care.”
  • On whether Labour would “get round the table with the Conservatives” to address social care: “The question is would the Conservatives vote for our National Care Service or would they vote against it because we are going to be the government.”

Election result…

  • Do you hear people raising the question of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership? “I hear people raising issues around Jeremy Corbyn, I hear people raising issues around Boris Johnson.”

Jo Swinson told Sophy Ridge that the “stitch up” between Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage had made the election difficult for the Lib Dems. She vowed not to resign if her party does worse than in 2017. Nigel Farage appeared next and criticised the Tory stance on immigration, saying the Conservatives had made “no real commitment to cut the numbers”. He also said the Brexit Party would change its name to the Reform Party after Brexit.

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