Violent reaction to action: John McDonnell defends the disastrous general election policies “deluded!”
He wants to explain the “rationale for extending public ownership”. But critics branded him as deluded for sticking to his guns after December’s catastrophic result. He will make a speech tomorrow as the battle over Labour’s future gathers pace with Sir Keir Starmer vying with Rebecca Long Bailey – who was once seen as a key McDonnell ally.
Critics of the leadership have denounced the policies put forward by Jeremy Corbyn and Mr McDonnell which paved the way to the historic defeat and Boris Johnson’s 80-seat majority.
But Mr McDonnell is leading the first in a series of seminars which will cover topics including “securing a socialist Labour Government”.
A senior party source said Mr McDonnell’s planned speech is proof he is “deluded”. He said: “I think we’ve heard enough of John McDonnell. He needs to shuffle off the stage.
“He had four years to convince people of his policies. He failed. I think the British public have shown they’ve heard enough from him… I just think it’s a case of being deluded.
“They’ve just not faced up to what happened. The fact is, they can bang on about that manifesto all they want – it got rejected.
“They fought two elections. They lost. Their ideas were rejected. It’s time to move on now.”
Alun Davies, a former Welsh government minister, said future defeats await unless policies change.
He was not surprised Mr McDonnell was taking part in the seminars saying: “Any leadership election following such a titanic and historic defeat is going to have people who want to protect their legacy. It’s an entirely human and natural thing to do.”