JOHN McDONNELL joked yesterday that Karl Marx and Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond, as well as historical Labour figures, are among those who have shaped his economic thinking.
The shadow chancellor was asked on The Andrew Marr Show whether he was a Marxist.
He replied that there is “a lot to learn from reading Das Kapital,” but that he differed from Marx in that he does not believe capitalism will die but that it needs transforming so that prosperity can be “shared by all.”
Mr Hammond also provided inspiration by showing how not to run the economy, Mr McDonnell said.
He rejected claims presented by Mr Marr that Labour’s plans to borrow £250 billion — to fund public services, skills and infrastructure — represent a return to the 1970s.
Mr McDonnell said: “Shall I tell you whose advice we took in terms of borrowing? Philip Hammond. He said last year we need to borrow for our infrastructure and now is the time to do it.
“We also took the figures from the Confederation of British Industry about how much exactly is needed to be competitive with our European and American competitors.
“If you look at what [US President Donald Trump] is doing, he’s putting a trillion in.”