How has Jeremy Corbyn become influential? Here's what top Labour donor John Mills has to say

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to become Labour leader is gaining some serious clout.

Just today, a YouGov survey for The Times showed that Corbyn has almost doubled his lead over arch nemesis Andy Burnham.

Speaking of the figures, YouGov president Peter Kellner said he’d “personally be astonished if Corbyn does not end up as Labour’s leader”.

Last week, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone told us that “CIA death squads” are the only thing that could stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming Labour leader.

Millionaire business tycoon John Mills, who is Labour’s biggest individual donor, is not a Corbyn fan but admits that the left-wing backbencher is gaining clout.

Mills told LondonLovesBusiness that Corbyn’s campaign is going from strength to strength because of his economic policies rejecting austerity.

Mills said: “I think there is a very widely sensed feeling – much of which I share - that austerity policies impoverish the public sector; that they heap hardship on those least able to bear it; that they stunt growth in living standards while failing to produce a sound foundation for future economic growth; and that they tend to favour the rich – and especially lenders rather than borrowers – at the expense of everyone else.”

On being asked whether Corbyn’s policies make economic sense for Britain, Mills said, “The key issue, in my view, is whether far left policies will improve the UK’s economic performance, particularly our growth rate, which is the only sustainable way of overcoming stagnant living standards.

“Unfortunately, I think that our own history of nationalisation – and the experience of countries such as Venezuela and Cuba - tells us that this is unlikely to be the outcome. This is why I think Labour’s future lies in policies to get our economy better balanced in partnership with the private sector,” he added.

On donations to the Labour Party if Corbyn is elected leader

Speaking of donations to the Labour Party if Corbyn is elected leader, Mills said:

“Whatever the outcome of the current leadership election, I have every intention of continuing to support the Labour Party and to do what I can to help it develop the sort of policies which I think are most likely to be effective and to get the party re-elected.”

Mills has donated over £1.7m in shares to the Labour Party since 2005. The Labour Party will continue to get dividends irrespective of who the new leader is.

 

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