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September 22, 2019

High time Labour had a female leader: McDonnell

World

P
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September 22, 2019

LONDON: Labour’s next leader should be a woman, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said, but ruled himself out of becoming Jeremy Corbyn’s successor.

However, he highlighted a series of Labour MPs who could become the party’s first elected female leader. The shadow chancellor has also set out plans for a Labour government to offer 500,000 interest free loans a year for five years for the purchase of electric cars.

Speaking to The Times about his party’s next leader, McDonnell said: “If Jeremy got hit by the No 57 bus, or whatever it is, there’s the next generation coming through. And the reality is the next leader should be a woman. It’s high time to have a woman.”

Praising some of the female talent on the Labour benches he said: “Becky (Long Bailey), Angie (Rayner), Emily (Thornberry), you name it. Dawn Butler... They’ve just been fantastic.”

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today, McDonnell set out his plans to help encourage motorists to choose cleaner electric vehicles. The loans of up to £33,000 will allow low- to middle-income households, those living in rural areas and small businesses to save on new electric cars. A Labour government would cover the £1,500 cost of interest on a loan, with individuals saving up to £5,000 over time. McDonnell said: “This will stimulate the automotive industry, it will sustain jobs in the conversion from fossil fuels to electric but actually it will create new jobs as well.

“So this is beneficial in terms of the climate, it is beneficial for those people who want to convert their carbon-fuel powered car into an electric vehicle that is sustainable. At same time it will help support the automotive industry and create jobs. Those jobs are in areas where we have had real issues, particularly with Brexit.”

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