Shadow Chancellor basks in Burnley sunshine and applause at Towneley May Day Festival

John McDonnell speaking at Towneley ParkJohn McDonnell speaking at Towneley Park
John McDonnell speaking at Towneley Park
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell promised that the next Labour Government would be 'one like no other' when he addressed crowds at a sun-drenched Towneley Park today.

The senior Labour politician repeated the mantra of party leader Jeremy Corbyn when he said their government would be for everyone and would transform the lives of many.

Speaking at the 40th Burnley May Day festival, one of the oldest in the country, Mr McDonnell made bold statements about protecting the NHS and renationalising the water, rail and energy industries.

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Mr McDonnell spoke to the Burnley Express to reveal his strong links to Burnley and Pendle.

The paradeThe parade
The parade

The politician studied A Levels at the former Burnley Tech and later worked for Silent Night in Barnoldswick and Mullard's in Padiham.

Sharing a platform with Burnley MP Julie Cooper, he said: "We will be a government that transforms the lives of everyone.

"We will introduce a real living wage of £10 an hour and end zero hours contracts."

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The man who has his eyes on controlling the purse strings of the nation said the party's budget had been thoroughly costed in its manifesto which would be constantly updated.

CND sculpture at Towneley ParkCND sculpture at Towneley Park
CND sculpture at Towneley Park

He promised to tax wealthy individuals and corporations, and clamp down on tax evasion, which he said the 'Tories had turned a blind eye to.'

And he said he was confident of Labour coming to power as he described Tories as 'scrapping amongst themselves like rats in a sack.'

Burnley Borough Council Coun. Mark Townsend, who was praised by Mr McDonnell for helping to bring high-skilled jobs to the borough, described the speech as 'inspirational'.

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The day had begun with the usual parade of trade unions and their banners from Burnley Town Hall to the park.

Other attractions at the park included demonstrations from Pendle Dog Agility, a funfair and donkey rides as scores of families flocked to the park to enjoy the bank holiday sunshine.

See Friday's Express to find about Mr McDonnell's strong links to Burnley and Pendle.