John McDonnell has said the country is now in the “bizarre” situation where the City is looking to him and Jeremy Corbyn to “stabalise capitalism”.
The shadow chancellor said Theresa May’s government was “imploding” as a result of internal warfare over Brexit.
McDonnell was speaking to hundreds of supporters in Manchester Cathedral on Monday evening, a short walk from where the prime minister is hosting the Conservative Party’s annual conference.
The Tory meeting has been overshadowed by Boris Johnson’s freelancing on Brexit policy. Chancellor Philip Hammond said that ‘everyone is sackable’. Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach told HuffPost UK of Johnson: “We live in an era of cabinet collective responsibly. If he doesn’t want to take that responsibility he should do the honourable thing and resign”.
McDonnell told supporters having spoken to investment fund managers and pension fund managers it was clear financial institutions were turning to Labour.
“In some ways, it’s a bizarre situation, they are coming to us for reassurance against a government that is falling apart,” he said.“So Jeremy Corbyn and I are the stabalisers of capitalism - it’s bizarre isn’t it?”
The shadow chancellor said he and Corbyn were now waiting for the Tories to “stand aside” to let them take over.
“In terms of ideas they are bankrupt, in terms of the economy they are bankrupt. Politically as a party they are imploding,” he said.
Last week McDonnell said Labour was looking at “war-game-type scenario-planning” for events including “a run on the pound” should the party win the election.
The Conservatives seized on the comments as evidence Labour would damage the economy.
However McDonnell said today his remark was not a mistake. “It wasn’t a slip of the tongue,” he said. “I wanted to reassure the outside world we are prepared for anything.”
In his speech to the Conservative conference today, Hammond suggested Labour would make the UK like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Cuba or Venezuela.
McDonnell hit back. “I don’t mind a bit of knockabout about. But comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s economic policies and Jeremy Corbyn with Kim Jong-un of North Korea is stretching it bit far as far as i’m concerned.”