Does Labour expect a run on the pound?

Published: 29th Sep 2017

In brief


Jeremy Corbyn has already accepted that there is going to be a run on the pound in the event of a Labour government.


Labour has not accepted this. But some party members do want to “scenario-plan” for how they would deal with this issue in government.

“The truth is [Jeremy Corbyn] has already accepted that actually there is going to be a run on the pound [under a Labour government].”

Richard Tice, 28 September 2017

John McDonnell said “I don't think there will be” a run on the pound (a Black Wednesday-style rush of investors losing confidence in the pound, selling their assets and causing a sudden devaluation). But he thinks that Labour should carry out “war game-type scenario planning” in case it does happen.

He told a Labour Party conference event that people “want to know that we have got a response to anything that could happen”, according to Sky News.

At the moment, McDonnell said, the “relevant expertise” is being brought together to carry out such plans.

Yet a Labour party spokesperson has since said that this is not official party practice.

"This was an exercise not done by us but by members”, they told the BBC.

“The scenarios were to deal with numerous events such as national disasters and acts of terror that could occur under any government."

Nonetheless, Jeremy Corbyn has spoken supportively of McDonnell’s suggestions in a BBC interview.

"I think John is right to look at all these scenarios" he said. “If we move into government we need to… look at all the scenarios we might face.”

So Labour does not expect a run on the pound, but parts of the party are planning for it. And although scenario-planning is not official party practice, Mr Corbyn and Mr McDonnell are both supportive of it.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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