Shadow chancellor will push ‘for the many, not the few’ message in bid to restore trust in Labour party in run-up to the general election.
John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, will be at the centre of Labour’s pitch to voters in the next four weeks as the party tries to win the public’s trust after a poor set of local council results.
The party had lost 321 council seats by early evening on Friday and intends to respond to the losses by showing more of the shadow chancellor, who will reveal more about his values and personal story in the coming days as the party seeks to underline its campaign message of a Britain run “for the many, not the few”.
The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, acknowledged that there had been some “difficult” results but quickly switched to Labour’s core campaign message on Friday evening. “We will not be a government that presides over food bank Britain or asks teachers to go on the school gates and collect funds to pay the teachers’ wages,” he said.
The party could take consolation in comfortable victories for Steve Rotheram, who won the Liverpool metro mayoral race with 59% of the vote, and Andy Burnham, who won in Greater Manchester on 63%, as well as retaining control of Cardiff city council.
Rotheram told supporters after his win that voters had a “Marmite reaction” to Corbyn but were attracted to his policies. Speaking to the Guardian, Rotheram acknowledged the party faced an uphill struggle in a campaign the Tories are framing as a personality contest between party leaders. “I think you’ll see a narrowing of the polls as long as we’re able to argue on policy … If the contest is about May vs Corbyn, that’s a lot more challenging,” he said.