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    Members of the media photograph Britain's shadow Chancellor of the exchequer John McDonnell as he speaks at the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton, southern Britain 28 September, 2015

    'Daft Waste of Time:' Labour Criticizes Plans For a New UK Centrist Party

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    With Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s policies shifting the party further left, and the ruling Conservative Party moving rightwards, a supposed vacuum on the UK’s political spectrum has emerged, prompting calls and plans for a new centrist party to occupy and capitalize on the gap.

    The prospect of a new centrist party in Britain has drawn criticism and ridicule from numerous officials from the Labour Party, including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

    “That’s a novel idea. A party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. A party for the few not the many,” the shadow chancellor said via a Tweet on April 7, seemingly hitting out at the party’s sources of funding, which include the founder of LoveFilm.

    The party has secretly raised £50 million (around US$70.5 million at the current GBP/USD exchange rate) in the space of a year to “break the Westminster mould,” with much of the funding coming from a small number of multimillionaire investors and businessmen.

    Meanwhile, Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth described the endeavor as a “daft waste of time” and said the money would be better spent on the National Health Service (NHS), which is coming under increasing pressure due to the UK’s ageing population coupled with insufficient funding.

    READ MORE: Is Austerity Over? UK Government Agrees NHS Pay Deal With Unions

    “For goodness sake, what a daft waste of time. Anyone putting money into this nonsense would be better off investing in our campaign to restore and rebuild our NHS.”

    MP Jon Trickett was equally critical, and also suggested the party would only serve the interests of elitists.

    “A new political party with £50m in the kitty, no members, no rule book, no ideology. Perhaps with support from sections of the British Establishment. A plaything for the rich? Let’s focus on the task in hand: building a social movement which will change our country for good,” MP Trickett said via a tweet over the weekend.

    The Liberal Democrats – who hold just 12 seats in the House of Commons – could potentially fill the void in the UK’s political spectrum, but they have so far failed to make any significant progress in regaining the electorate’s trust after they didn’t deliver on countless promises and campaign pledges during their time in coalition with the Tories.

    READ MORE: Tim Farron's Resignation and the Tough Conversation Britain Needs

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    Tags:
    centrists, politics, UK Government, National Health Service (NHS), Labour party, Jon Ashworth, Jon Trickett, John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, United Kingdom, London
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