John McDonnell has warned of a total ‘collapse’ of the Conservative Party following last week’s autumn statement.
Jeremy Hunt’s efforts to revive the government’s fortunes seemingly failed again last Wednesday, with Labour even further ahead of the Tories according to the latest polling by Opinium.
Sir Keir Starmer’s party has a 16-point lead, and is all but certain to be the next party in government as the Tories slip to 26 per cent of the vote.
However, the autumn statement, which introduced an increase to the state pension and cuts to national insurance, was more positively received by voters than last year’s mini budget.
Almost a quarter (23 per cent) thought the autumn statement was good in comparison to just 12 per cent who thought the mini-budget was good when asked last year.
But, speaking exclusively to The London Economic, the former shadow chancellor said Mr Hunt’s proposals were merely an attempt to distract from the government’s ‘current performance’.
“I’ve been in Parliament for 26 years now and not seen this before. The governing party is sort of collapsing before our eyes. I’m trying to be as objective as I can on this, but literally it’s collapsing,” he said.
“And what I was predicting, and it was blindingly obvious to be honest, is that they’ll introduce an autumn statement where they try and restore some feel good factor with throw away goodies, typically some red meat to the backbenches.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies director Paul Johnson warned the public could have been mis-sold on the autumn statement, with many of the fundamentals remaining the same or worsening.
Meanwhile, ahead of the statement, Liberal Democrat treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney labelled it a “cost of chaos budget”.
McDonnell added: “It didn’t really convince anyone. And I have this saying which is the louder the applause on the day of the budget or autumn statement, the bigger the disappointment by the weekend.”
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