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‘You’re destroying confidence’: John McDonnell taken to task by John Caudwell

Labour’s election strategy has been to go on the attack against Britain’s billionaires. Today one of them responded. Phones4U founder John Caudwell quizzed shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Labour’s economic policy today and it’s safe to say he wasn’t impressed.

Caudwell warned McDonnell that his party’s plans could lead to an exodus of wealthy taxpayers from Britain. Here’s what he told McDonnell:

Caudwell: ‘…Some of the Labour rhetoric I accept. But the central ethos, when I hear phrases like nobody deserves to be a billionaire, it frightens the living daylights out of me. You know John, the thing is, if the Labour rhetoric was ‘We admire billionaires and we’d like them to pay a bit more tax, be more charitable and admire their success’, I would absolutely support that philosophy. But when I hear condemnation and divisiveness,.

Caudwell: You know, I listen to what you say, but I don’t believe it because…

McDonnell: Well, look at the policies…

C: Well, I’ve heard…

MD: Let me get you a manifesto copy.

C: It doesn’t matter what the policies are because the policies can be changed, and the rhetoric that goes behind those policies…

MD: I understand. So you need… It’s about confidence.

C: It’s about confidence, and what you’re doing… No, let me finish please. What you’re doing as a Labour Party is destroying confidence. And if you destroy confidence…

MD: I don’t think we are.

C: You are definitely destroying confidence.


JC: Nearly every wealthy person I know is thinking of leaving the UK – including me – if Labour get in. Now, if I end up leaving the UK, a country that I love, that I want desperately to remain in, I can guarantee you that will be hundreds that have left before me…’

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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