'Labour is still split, it's just not an angry public split', says journalist

'Labour is still split, it's just not an angry public split', says journalist

John McDonnell gave a speech at the conference

Monday, September 25, 2017

Labour is still split but the key point is that it is split quietly, rather than a “very angry and public split,”, according to a revered writer and columnist.

The Labour Party conference has started amid a hail of headlines and controversy. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has announced that he'd like to put the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), which uses funding from private firms, back into the public sector, and championed the imposition of limits on credit card liability. However Brexit has been ommitted from the list of discussion topics, a fact which has prompted criticism from Jeremy Corbyn's opponents.

Stephen Bush, special correspondent for the New Statesman, told Sam Delaney that the conference has "a very different atmosphere to the mood of the last two conferences.”

He thinks "there are two thirds of people who kind of thought [Jeremy Corbyn's party] couldn't possibly work and now think it could.

"Of the remaining third, half of that third kind of thinks 'well, I don’t agree with his politics anyway.' The other half says the Conservatives couldn’t have tried harder to lose this election...and [Labour] still couldn't win.

"The party is still kind of quietly split but the key point is the word quietly."

He added that on the issue of PFI, which was a major issue under Tony Blair, the question is “Whether or not [Labour] actually would be able to do that, or the cost would be so large they’d just have to throw their hands in the air and go 'yeah' we can’t keep this promise.'"

Listen to the full interview above

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