Jerermy Corbyn ally praises Keir Starmer for ‘taking this government on’ over coronavirus response
- Credit: PA
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said praised Labour's Keir Starmer's response to the coronavirus pandemic as being 'exactly right'.
McDonnell said the Labour leader had approached the government in a 'constructive way' during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the government had adopted several policies put forward by Labour in order to tackle the crisis as a result.
You may also want to watch:
Speaking to John Pienaar on Times Radio, McDonnell said: 'Keir's got this exactly right.
- 1 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 2 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 3 Rabbits defeat French army
- 4 Party politics will not save us from the Tories - we need drastic action
- 5 Would Javid have renamed ICU wards 'Drama Queen Zones'?
- 6 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 7 Ed Vaizey overtakes Paul Dacre in the Ofcom race
- 8 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 9 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
'He's approached the government in a constructive way - and we've got to get through this crisis together - but he can't help but point out failure after failure. And people are getting pretty angry.
'He's taking this government on. What's interesting is the government itself has had to adopt many of the policies - not just the ones we advocated for in the last general election, the investment etcetera - but also the policies that we put to them in March to cope with this Covid crisis.
'The furlough scheme was our proposal, the support for small businesses, the self-employed - our proposals. I think he's gaining the benefit of that.
'Of course with a new leader, the media will give you a much wider leeway to a large extent and of course he's exploiting that, good for him.'
McDonnell also said that Sir Keir does believe in genuine left-wing principles.
He said: 'Keir has made it clear he's a socialist. His expressions in the past and throughout - of course he's a socialist.'
The Labour MP added: 'Sometimes I'll want the party to be a bit more vociferous on some of these things but it's a matter of style.
'As long as we get the point across.'
McDonnell is one of the first to heap praise on the new Labour leader from the Left of the party which has been hostile towards Sir Keir.
Earlier this week, former party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Boris Johnson 'didn't want to introduce the furlough scheme' in a meeting between the two shortly after the coronavirus outbreak.
He also said he was briefed on herd immunity by government officials in the early days of the pandemic.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.