McDonnell: 'Nasty' Hammond 'Kicking Corbyn While He's Down'

8 March 2017, 17:39

Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell says Philip Hammond's repeated jokes at the expense of Jeremy were "almost kicking someone when they're down".

The Chancellor made a number of pointed gags about the Labour leadership throughout his hour-long Budget speech today, including one that called the Opposition a "driverless vehicle" and another that said Corbyn was "so far down a black hole even Stephen Hawking has disowned him".

Iain Dale was joined by Corbyn's ally McDonnell this evening and he said Hammond had gone too far.

"With Philip Hammond, he's...in some ways...it's almost kicking someone when they're down, people don't like that sort of thing and it's over the top," started McDonnell. "The reaction I got around me, normally you can laugh, you can ride with the punches, this was a bit nasty.

"It's not the style of politics that I like."

McDonnell continued: "Yeah, be witty, but you don't have to kick a person."

But the Shadow Chancellor also suggested it was a tactical mistake to go for the jugular time and again: "Jeremy's coming across now as very much an underdog and in some ways, British people like an underdog.

"I think Hammond got it wrong in that sense. Just too brutal."

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