U.K.'s McDonnell Tells City to `Get Used to' Labour Party Policy

(Bloomberg) -- John McDonnell, economy spokesman for the U.K.’s socialist opposition Labour Party, told Britain’s financial sector that it should “get used to” his party’s program because it’s not going to change.

“There’ll be some elements that people don’t like, but get used to it, it’s going to happen,” he told an audience of financial sector workers in London on Wednesday. “Most of what we do you’ll like, but some you won’t like.”

The vote to leave the European Union was in part powered by inequality in investment across the U.K., McDonnell said, and there needs to be redistribution to give equality of opportunity and to address poverty.

McDonnell has outlined a program of renationalizations and increased taxes if Labour wins the next general election. He also described a program of forcing companies to hand equity to their workers with the government taking a slice of excess dividends in the resulting employee mutual funds.

He admitted that, despite a two-year charm offensive, he hasn’t done enough to discuss his plans with business. He encouraged executives to approach him to talk them through.

“Any assistance any organisation can give us, we’ll turn up, listen and feed that back into our policy-making operation,” he said. Most people like the objectives, he said, adding that momentum is growing across the country for Labour’s goals. “If you don’t like the route, tell me another one and we can take it on board. We’re being absolutely practical and pragmatic.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.