4. June 2018: John McDonnell, keynote speaker at CityUK’s QE2 Centre event


CityUK, a prominent lobby group promoting the financial and related professional services industry, which has close links to the UK Government and policymakers in Brussels and Washington, invited Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s as a keynote speaker at its QE2 Centre event on Wednesday.

Unfazed by Conservative minister’s ‘introduction’

The FT’s City Insider, Patrick Jenkins, reports that ‘by way of introduction’, a previous speaker John Glen, the Conservative Party’s Economic Secretary for the Treasury, made an attack on the “maverick” McDonnell, saying he was a bigger risk than Brexit.

He continued: “Against the odds, McDonnell charmed at least some. His opener raised a titter: ‘The last panel was asked what is the most horrifying thing facing us all now. Apparently I’m the most horrifying thing, according to [Glen]’ “.

He moved on to warn of the risk to jobs from Brexit.

Overthrowing capitalism was not mentioned. “I don’t expect you to join the Labour party,” he quipped, but stressed his door was open to talk to financiers as “partners”.

CityUK (and Barclays) chairman John McFarlane told City Insider afterwards, “He comes across as a decent guy. I’ll go in to see him.”

Jenkins’ verdict headline: “John McDonnell’s City charm offensive pays off”.

No transcript has been seen as yet.