John McDonnell set for UK-wide economics tour... but what place for Corbynomics guru?

Written by @singersz on 18 January 2016 in Diary

The shadow chancellor is to host free seminars across the UK in a bid to move away from “Westminster-dominated views” about economic policy, Labour has announced.

John McDonnell’s UK-wide economics tour will allow members of the public to discuss economic policy with the shadow chancellor and selected economists.

The tour with "some of the brightest minds in economics"  was announced this morning and tickets are selling like hot cakes, according to sources close to the shadow chancellor.

An initial five events have been organised, of which three had already sold out by midday. McDonnell is understood to be keen to set up further events in the north of England and there will be a national economics conference in May.

The first event is to take place on 26th January in London with Mariana Mazzucato. Speakers at future events include Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

Slightly curiously, there is no place in the band for Richard Murphy, the man previously known as the guru of ‘Corbynomics’.

In the summer of 2015, Jeremy Corbyn took inspiration from the tax expert for many of his economic ideas, such as reclaiming the £120bn ‘tax gap’ and quantitative easing. After his Labour leadership victory, some in Westminster had expected that Murphy would be made a top economic adviser in Team Corbyn.

That never happened and the tax expect has now made it clear that he is still waiting for his invitation to take part in McDonnell's UK-wide tour.

“I have no further details: nor do I know if I am going or will be speaking, so there is no point asking. But I approve of the idea.”

A source close to McDonnell confirmed that there were no plans at present to include Murphy. But they told TP that it could still happen:

“He’s not on there at the moment. But that’s not to say he won’t be in the future.”

There are more details on the economics tour here. Speaking ahead of the first debate, McDonnell said:

“I am delighted to have some of the brightest minds in economics sharing their thoughts about how we can build an economy fit for the future.

“On the most pressing issues of the day – for example, how to tackle inequality, the role of innovation and the future of the workplace – Labour will be listening to what is being said while we put together our own proposals.

“These meetings are an important first step on the path to reshaping the economic debate in the country, and getting away from it being a Westminster dominated view of economics.”


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