Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has announced that the rail industry could be completely renationalised within five years, if Labour win the next election.
Mr McDonnell has announced that he is investigating whether break clauses in contracts could allow rail franchises to be taken into public hands before they expire. Speaking to the BBC he said that he believed all of the rail franchises could be in public hands in the first term of a Labour Government.
“I think that’s possible. That’s why we’re working through the detail now of how that can be done.”
“And if you look at what’s happened over time a number of these franchises have been handed back anyway.”
Right now, there are 18 rail franchises in England, Scotland and Wales. Mr McDonnell has said his plans would be cost-effective, a comment that faced criticism from the Conservatives.
The Shadow Chancellor wants to create a new unit in the Treasury to oversee the party’s wider nationalisation plans.
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