Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell visits Leeds as part of a national roadshow outlining the campaign to bring control back to communities

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer has accused the Conservative party of "dishonest politics" while visiting West Yorkshire as part of a national roadshow today.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaking in Pudsey today.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaking in Pudsey today.

John McDonnell was speaking ahead of the Pudsey stop off of his nationwide tour, ‘Road to Rebuilding the Economy’ where, in front of a 200 strong audience made up of local politicians, community and business leaders, he set out specific plans from Labour to create jobs, boost wages and increase living standards in West Yorkshire.

The Labour party says the document is a stand against eight years of austerity cuts that have been put in place by the Conservative government since 2010 and comes after Prime Minister Teresa May pledged to end cuts in her Conservative party conference speech earlier this week.

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Mr McDonnell, the MP for west London constituency Hayes and Harlington, said Pudsey was like many similar towns across the country which had suffered but were formulating their own plans for change.

He said: "It is the third time it has been announced and it lacks credibility. The budget is coming up so, if they are really ending austerity that budget will have to make sure the NHS is fully funded. The proposals don't go anywhere near the needs of that.

"The Local Government Authority has a £41bn budget gap for local councils, £26bn for children's services, social care is on its knees and we have cuts on police, fire-fighters and public services.

"If the government is serious, that budget has got to increase significantly in terms of investment. Where is the money coming from? It is dishonest politics".

As the Labour party plans to overturn Pudsey's Conservative hold at the next General Election, the aim of the roadshow was to ask people how cuts have affected them in everyday life, work or business and what they wanted to see done differently according to the Shadow Chancellor.

Mr McDonnell said that in addition to the usual call for more investment in health services there was a desire in Pudsey and similar constituencies for better transport and rail links (given that £190 is spent per head on transport in Yorkshire and the Humber compared to £1900 in London), better digital coverage and increased use of alternative energy.

In its challenge to the Conservative Party approach Labour is proposing to establish a National Investment Bank, which will be funded to the tune of £500bn over ten years, with spending being allocated on a regional basis for causes relevant to that area.

Proposals also include "re-writing" the Green Book, the government criteria for deciding what money is spent where and on what around the country, with a view to improving infrastructure and skills on a local basis which in turn will enable communities to be more long term thinking and self sustainable.

Mr McDonnell said: "We are starting to plan what we want for each area. We are re-writing the Green Book to do that and bringing in experts to do that and making sure priorities are around tackling regional inequality, climate change and developing an economy so it can compete on the forth-coming industrial revolution."