Saturday 5 October 2019 / 12:06 AM John McDonnell

John McDonnell begins pre-election campaign tour

Ahead of an expected General Election, John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will outline Labour’s plans for government to rebuild the economy and raise living standards in Essex.

John McDonnell MP will set out the party’s plans for Essex at the ‘Road to Rebuilding the Economy’ conference in Colchester today (Saturday).

McDonnell’s visit to Colchester, comes after the Shadow Chancellor unveiled plans at Labour’s annual conference to deliver free personal care and a full-time average working week of 32 hours, with no loss of pay.

With an election imminent, McDonnell will use the latest stage of his nationwide tour to highlight Labour’s programme for government.

McDonnell said Labour is stepping up its campaign to expose the impact of Tory austerity measures on Essex communities and highlight Labour’s plans to revive the county’s economy.

The Shadow Chancellor’s UK-wide tour starts again today (Saturday) in the Essex seat of Colchester, where Labour is seeking to overturn a Tory majority of 5,677.

Speaking ahead of the event in Colchester, John McDonnell said:


“Nearly 10 years of austerity has hit communities in Colchester and Essex as a whole very hard.

“British towns, coast to coast, have lost their traditional industries.

“Nothing has filled that gap and people in Essex have been let down badly by the Tory government, which has inflicted over nine years of austerity on these communities.

“Our struggling high streets are one of the clearest symptoms of the government’s failure to invest in our communities.

“Labour’s five-point plan for British high streets will help breathe life back into our struggling town centres.

“And Labour will deliver a fair deal for Essex’s coastal communities.

“Labour’s plan to introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020 will boost pay for over half a million low paid jobs in the East of England.

“We will put in place changes needed to reduce average full-time hours to 32 a week within the next decade. A shorter working week with no loss of pay

“The next Labour government will introduce personal care free at the point of use in England, as part of our new National Care Service.

“We will increase income tax on the top 5%, the people who can afford it, who can pay a little bit more. But also tackle tax dodging and reverse some of the giveaways to the corporations.

“Labour will tax the rich and giant corporations to end austerity, properly fund public services free at the point of use, and rebuild our economy so it works for the many, not the few.”


Notes to editors

This one day conference is the latest in a new series of pre-election events on the economy, which will look at the impact of austerity measures enacted on our cities, towns and communities, and form part of a listening exercise helping to develop Labour’s next manifesto from the ground up.
Previous conferences have included events in Hastings and Rye, Broxtowe, Pudsey, Mansfield, Blackpool, Airdrie and Shots, Stoke on Trent, Chingford and Woodford Green, as well as Stroud.

Labour’s plan to introduce a Real Living Wage of £10 an hour by 2020 will boost pay for 502,000 low paid jobs in the East of England.

Labour’s commitment to a 32-hour average full-time working week within a decade is to be delivered by:
Setting up a new independent Working Time Commission, modelled on the Low Pay Commission, to advise government on raising minimum holiday entitlements
Rolling out sectoral collective bargaining and putting working time at the heart of binding sectoral agreements, recognising that different sectors will need to respond in different ways, and trade unions will be at the heart of that.
Ending the “opt-out” from the Working Time Directive (see below), which allows employers to pressure workers into regularly working over 48 hours a week, and ask the Working Time Commission to recommend reductions from 48 hours.

Free personal care joins free higher and further education, childcare, school meals and bus services for young people as new pledges for Labour’s expanded vision of universal basic services.

Labour’s new report “Universal Basic Services: The Right to a Good Life” can be downloaded from

King’s Fund recently estimated the cost of free personal care would be £6bn in 2020/21, rising to £8bn in 2030/31 [p17]