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McDonnell to tour Britain's ‘neglected’ towns and cities

LABOUR launches a national tour of towns and cities “neglected” by the Tories tomorrow, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell taking the party’s message to every corner of Britain.

Kicking off the tour in Hastings, East Sussex, he will vow to put power in the hands of ordinary people and outline how the incoming Labour government will revive the stagnating economy to improve living standards.

The town is in the constituency of Tory former home secretary Amber Rudd, who narrowly avoided a major political upset by holding on to her seat in last year’s general election with a significantly reduced majority of 346 votes.

With another general election looking increasingly possible as Theresa May’s Brexit woes wobble the government, Mr McDonnell’s tour “The Road To Rebuilding The Economy” seeks to visit communities that Labour say have been forgotten by the government.

At these events, Mr McDonnell will meet leading lights from the local community, as well as local Labour councillors and trade unionists.

Mr McDonnell said: “When Labour goes into government, everyone goes into government.

“Different areas have had different experiences over the last two generations. Take northern towns, or coastal towns, where they have lost their traditional industries.

“Nothing has filled that gap. But overlay that with the eight years of austerity that’s hit the whole of the country.”

Mr McDonnell claimed that “the whole social fabric goes” when ministers cut too close to the bone on the NHS, education and emergency services.

He mentioned that studies conducted by Labour show far too many British people feel a sense of disconnect from society, particularly since “all of those elements” of social provision are “being kicked from underneath them.”

The summer-long tour will coincide with the rapid expansion of Labour’s new community organising unit, which intends to develop grassroots politics in impoverished areas that feel increasingly out of touch with Labour and the trade union movement.

Left-wing MPs such as Laura Pidcock have already praised the unit for being an opportunity to make local activists in communities “effective” in “destroying this government.”

Mr McDonnell will also attempt to discuss the nuts and bolts of many working class or impoverished communities that do not currently elect Labour MPs. 

“We’re looking at basic issues like employment. What’s the nature of the employment there? What’s the balance of it?

“Is it one that’s looking toward the future? Have they got the infrastructure, road, rail, skills to develop their economy?”

The tour will continue across towns and village across the UK until the end of August.

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