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John McDonnell: Real divide in UK politics between money men and working class

Labour in Scotland is committed to an industrial strategy that boosts and stimulates the economy, Mr McDonnell says.

The real divide in UK politics is not between Scotland and England but between “working people and the money men”, Labour’s shadow chancellor will claim.

John McDonnell will speak out about the “real division in our society” as he closes Labour’s Scottish conference in Dundee.

He will use his speech to insist that Scotland can be a Labour heartland once again with left-wing MSP Richard Leonard now leading the party north of the border.

The former union official took over the post in November last year, with Mr McDonnell to hail him as someone “who I know will return Scotland to being the Labour heartland which it was and can be again”.

Labour in Scotland is committed to an industrial strategy that boosts and stimulates the economy “in such a way that benefits the many not the few”.

Our goal is about shifting power from those who own the wealth in this country back to those who, through their hard work and endeavour, create the wealth in this country. John McDonnell

Mr McDonnell will say: “The dividing lines today are the dividing lines every day … everywhere … as our movement has always known.

“Not between brothers and sisters either side of a border, or across the Channel, but between the haves and have nots … the 95% and the 5% … the many and the few.”

Scottish politics has been dominated by the constitution in recent years, with the independence referendum in 2014 a divisive experience for many.

But Mr McDonnell will say: “Our goal in this movement is not and has never been about shifting power from one parliament and one set of politicians to another.

“Our goal is about shifting power from those who own the wealth in this country back to those who, through their hard work and endeavour, create the wealth in this country.

“That’s the real division in our society. Not between Scotland and England, but between working people and the money men.”

The shadow chancellor will tell the conference that when Labour returns to power the party will “fundamentally change the whole economic basis of our society”.

He will state: “We know that the free market fundamentalism of recent years cannot deliver the change we need.

“It’s not just that privatised public services are more expensive and of lower quality.

“We simply will not be able to face the challenges of climate change and automation without collective action.

“It’s why we announced that we will take PFI contracts back in-house, to save money and gain control over key public infrastructure.”

His speech comes after Mr Leonard pledged a Labour government in Scotland would not use PFI or similar schemes to fund projects.

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