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Britain’s Labour names hard left McDonnell as shadow finance minister

The new leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party named John McDonnell, a hard left former trade union official who wants to impose higher taxes on the rich and businesses, as his finance minister-in-waiting on Monday.

Jeremy Corbyn won Labour’s leadership election on Saturday, striking a chord with many Labour supporters by repudiating the pro-business consensus of former Labour leader Tony Blair and offering wealth taxes, nuclear disarmament and ambiguity about EU membership.

“We need an economic strategy to tackle the underlying flawed fundamentals of our economic system,” McDonnell wrote in the Guardian newspaper in August.

“Public ownership does have an important role to play, but this will be through smart forms of 21st-century common ownership and control.”

McDonnell in 2010 sparked controversy by quipping that if he could return to the 1980s he would assassinate Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Conservative prime minister from 1979-1990. He later apologised for the comment which he said was a joke

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Reuters News Service