Corbyn ally admits he doesn't know how much Labour would increase public sector pay

Julia Hartley-Brewer challenges Labour MP to say a figure for public sector pay rise if party were in power

The Government has announced it will end a cap on public sector wages

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

An ally of Jeremy Corbyn has admitted he "can't put a figure" on how much Labour would increase public sector pay if the party was in power.

Chris Williamson faced a grilling from Julia Hartley-Brewer after the Conservative Government gave into ongoing pressure to end the 1% wage cap for public sector workers.

Many feel the gesture is insufficient, and Williamson - who has previously said Corbyn's opponents should be "on bended knee apologising" for their dissent - supported this view by saying the Government "needs to go considerably further" and the gesture "has gone nowhere near far enough." 

This prompted Julia to ask  "If you were in power right now, if Jeremy Corbyn was prime minister, what pay rise would you be offering police officers, prison officers and other key public sector staff today?"

As Williamson gave his answer, Julia repeatedly asked him "give me a number". Eventually Williamson said he couldn't give a categorical figure.

Julia also pressed her interview on how the public sector pay increases would be funded. Williamson responded by saying "we shouldn't shy from borrowing," pointing out that Britain built the NHS at a time of crippling post-war debt and this triggered a virtuous circle of growth.

'Illegal strikes are a matter for the party'

Another Corbyn ally, Unite union boss Len McCluskey, sparked controversy yesterday by saying he'd be prepared to back illegal strikes - those which fail to meet the legally required threshold of support from the union involved - in an attempt to secure higher pay for public sector workers.

Williamson refused to clarify whether or not he himself would support such action, however, saying this would be a matter for Labour.

Julia also suggested there is no evidence that nurses are asking food banks, and asked Williamson why his party have been unable to put forward any nurse who faces this situation. 

Listen above.