'The Tories stole my policies': John McDonnell reacts to Hartlepool by-election result

7 May 2021, 16:01

John McDonnell reacts to Hartlepool by-election result

By Sam Sholli

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has accused to Conservative Party of stealing his policies in his response to the Hartlepool by-election result.

The seat of Hartlepool was won by the Conservatives with Jill Mortimer being elected as the constituency's MP.

The result has come despite the seat having been held by Labour for almost 50 years.

Jill Mortimer's 15,529 votes were nearly 7,000 ahead of Labour's candidate Paul Williams, who received 8,589 votes.

'The Tories are more prepared to shift what they're doing to win.'

Speaking of the Labour Party's performance in the 2021 Elections, Mr McDonnell told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty: "We went into these election with almost a policy-free zone."

Referring to the 2019 Labour general election manifesto, which he helped to develop, the former Shadow Chancellor said: "The irony is this. The Tories are implementing many of those policies. Or they say they're going to. I don't think they will.

Labour needs a 'snarling arrogant brawler' to take on Boris Johnson

"So in Hartlepool, they stole my policy of taking some of the Treasury out of London and taking it up North. They're putting it in Darlington. Same with the infrastructure investment."

The former Shadow Chancellor said Labour's policy programme in December 2019 was "reasonably popular" but that it now "needs to be more radical".

READ MORE: Hartlepool: 'Labour's got a big problem,' says former MP, as Tories win 'iconic' seat
READ MORE: Elections 2021: Where does Sir Keir go from here?

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