JOHN MCDONNELL was torn apart by businessman and philanthropist John Caudwell who said Labour’s high taxation plans on the wealthy will force billionaires to leave Britain.
John McDonnell listened to Mr Caudwell who insisted the Labour Party is “destroying confidence” with their “destructive” rhetoric on measures to end austerity. The Shadow Chancellor argued against the claims despite Mr Caudwell saying he would not start a business under a Labour Government. Host Justin Webb asked: “Would you have started your business in the circumstances of the country as John McDonnell envisages it?”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Caudwell said: “The Labour Party as it stands today, if they were in power, no I would not.”
Mr McDonnell interrupted: “I don’t believe that, I think you would.”
Mr Caudwell continued: “It’s true. Why would I stay in a political environment that’s unfriendly and not encouraging entrepreneurship.”
The Shadow Chancellor hit back: “We are.”
Mr Caudwell added: “No you’re not because what you’re doing is creating a divisive message.
“What you’re doing as a Labour Party is destroying confidence.
“If you destroy confidence nearly every wealthy person I know is thinking of leaving the UK including me if Labour get in.”
Mr McDonnell responded: “Well I don’t think we are.
“If people have anxieties comes and see us.”
The businessman added: “But you won’t settle the anxiety because the rhetoric that goes on is so destructive.
“It’s coming from your party.”
Mr McDonnell lashed out at the claims.
He said: “The rhetoric that’s reported in certain areas of the media does not reflect the reality.”
Mr Caudwell asked: Does the Labour party believe there should be no billionaires?” to which the Labour candidate said: “Some people have said that.”
The Phones4U co-founder argued the public should be encouraged and inspired to be successful.
He explained they need to be inspired to stay onshore, pay fair taxes and be charitable.