Labour ‘war-gaming’ for run on pound if Jeremy Corbyn becomes PM
Shadow chancellor says Labour is preparing to ‘hit the deck running’
The Labour party is prepared for a run on the pound if Jeremy Corbyn is elected prime minister, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said today.
Speaking during the party conference in Brighton, McDonnell said Labour were “scenario-planning” for a drop in the value of the currency in order to “hit the deck running” following a prospective electoral victory.
As part of their “war-game type scenario-planning”, Labour has discussed what would happen if Corbyn's election spooked currency markets, Sky News reports. The party is “hoping to use their annual gathering to present themselves as a Government-in-waiting”, the broadcaster adds.
McDonnell said Labour had to prepare for a “potential assault” by opponents in the City, media and parliament should Corbyn enter Downing Street, with the party putting together "detailed implementation manuals" and draft laws.
He told followers of Momentum, a hard-left activist group that he “doesn't think” there will be a slump in the currency, but “you never know, so we've got to scenario-plan for that”.
Later, Corbyn backed his shadow chancellor, telling BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg that “John is making the point that you've got to look at all these things and all these scenarios.”
The Conservatives suggested that Corbyn's election would precipitate just such a crisis, as renationalisations led to “a collapse in business investment and a crash in the value of the pound”.