Today LCCI members took part in a Q&A session with the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Hayes and Harlington, the Rt Hon John McDonnell.
At the breakfast briefing at the Goring Hotel in Victoria, the Shadow Chancellor updated LCCI members on Labour’s view on Brexit, described by Mr McDonnell as the ‘elephant in the room’. He said that while labour will respect the referendum result, his party’s intention remains to secure a deal that protects jobs. This might, he said, include ‘a’ form of customs union, a hot topic at the moment.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell taking questions from members during the Q&A
In the following Q&A session, chamber members pressed the Shadow Chancellor on what a Labour government would do to encourage and support SMEs and entrepreneurs, his views on business taxes and controversial plans for nationalisation. While nodding to his public persona with some joking references to ‘comrades’, he said that although they might not always agree with his polices, he would seek to have a constructive relationship with The City here in London and with businesses more generally.
Encouragingly, he said that Labour support further devolved powers coming to the UK’s cities, something LCCI believes will help cities, including London, deliver the essential infrastructure we need, including the likes of Crossrail 2. He said he and his team continue to operate an ‘open door’ policy to businesses who want to have their say and help shape policy development.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell addressing chambers members on Brexit
Of today’s event LCCI Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge said: “In these turbulent times it is essential that politicians from across the political spectrum understand the priorities of London’s business community. This was a great opportunity for chamber members to probe one of the most high profile politicians around about the issues that matter to them”.
This event is part of an ongoing series of engagement opportunities for London Chamber members with politicians and public figures. For more information on other policy events coming up by the chamber, see our events page here.