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Live from Brighton - John McDonnell

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Labour has vowed to end the “scandal” of the £30bn Private Finance Initiative scheme.

If elected, the party would review all PFI contracts with a view to bringing existing deals “back in-house”, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told Labour's conference in Brighton today (MON).

He said: “We have already pledged that there will be no new PFI deals signed by us.

“But we will go further. I can tell you today, it’s what you’ve been calling for. We’ll bring existing PFI contracts back in-house.”

The announcement marks another sharp break with New Labour, after hundreds of PFI deals were signed to keep debt off the government’s books.

The Shadow Chancellor also vowed to press ahead with Labour’s nationalisation programme, saying: “Rail, water, energy, Royal Mail - we’re taking them back.”

And he confirmed Labour would establish a Strategic Investment Board, charged with ending London and the Home Counties' grip on public investment.

He said: “We’ll build Crossrail for the north, connecting our great northern cities from west coast to east, and extend HS2 into Scotland. We will overlook decades of lack of investment in the South West by electrifying the railway lines from Cornwall to London once and for all.#  

"To pay for those public services we will close the tax loopholes and tax avoidance schemes for the mega-rich.

"We are not asking for the earth. We are simply asking that the rich and the corporations PAY THEIR WAY."

McDonnell also pledged to address the gender pay gap. "And every piece of legislation will look at the impact it has on women."

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