Emily Thornberry has distanced herself from John McDonnell and suggested people who earn £70,000 a year may not think of themselves as rich.
The shadow chancellor has floated the idea that a Labour government would increase tax on the wealthy to make sure they “pay their way”.
However speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Thornberry said McDonnell’s definition of what made someone rich could be too low.
“There are many people on £70,000 who may well feel that their circumstances are such that they are not rich. And I understand that,” she said.
“But they are certainly on a higher income - it’s just a matter of maths - than those on £26,000.”
McDonnell had told the same programme yesterday: “We want to get a system that is fair, so the corporations and the rich pay their way more and that means ending the tax giveaways to the corporations and also those in inheritance tax, capital gains tax and the bankers’ levy. The rich will be above £70,000 to £80,000 a year.”
Jeremy Corbyn this morning attacked the “rigged system” and said he would not “play by the rules” in the election.
“Much of the media and establishment are saying this election is a foregone conclusion. They think there are rules in politics, which if you don’t follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can’t really change, then you can’t win,” he said.
“But of course those people don’t want us to win. Because when we win, it’s the people, not the powerful, who win. The nurse, the teacher, the small trader, the carer, the builder, the office worker win. We all win.”
Thornberry, a close ally of Corbyn, said she was “positive” that Labour was “now going to get a proper hearing”.