This former policy adviser just wrote a letter of apology to Jeremy Corbyn, saying he underestimated him

Bridie Pearson-Jones
Monday 05 June 2017 13:00
news
Picture:(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A tax expert and previous critic of Jeremy Corbyn has publicly apologised to the Labour leader for "underestimating him".

Richard Murphy is a Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City, University of London​, and author of the Joy of Tax.

He's also commonly acknowledged as the father of Corbynomics.

He recently wrote on his blog for Tax Research:

Let me be clear: it [Labour] has a plausible leader.

I did not expect Jeremy to become that. I was wrong.

And I apologise. I underestimated him.

In the blog post, he apologies for an article he penned for the Guardian saying while he backed Labour's policies he'd lost faith in Corbyn as he'd failed to grow into his leadership role.

However, citing Corbyn's speech in the aftermath of the London Bridge and Borough Market terrorist attack, he says:

I could not have anticipated was a speech as good as this.

Jeremy Corbyn has grown into the role of Labour leader in ways I could not have anticipated.

He can do the job. That’s why I signed a letter to the Observer yesterday

He was referring to a letter signed by 129 economists backing Labour's manifesto as "much better designed" than it's Conservative counterpart to:

strengthen and develop the economy and ensure that its benefits are more fairly shared and sustainable, as well as being fiscally responsible and based on sound estimations.

The letter adds that the Conservative manifesto calls for continued austerity, which:

 ...will tend to slow the economy at a crucial juncture, against the backdrop of Brexit negotiations.

Their spending cuts have hurt the most vulnerable and failed to achieve their intended debt and deficit reduction targets.

However, Richard Murphy's post isn't all praise for Labour. He argues that he doesn't think they've done "everything right".

He says that "the manifesto has it's weaknesses" but:

it’s better than the anything the Tories are offering. And it’s ample enough to persuade me that voting Labour will be the right thing to do in many cases.

Since the general election was called, Labour and Jeremy Corbyn's personal rating have surged, yet they still remain behind the Conservatives.

Speaking to indy100, Murphy said:

Is the Labour manifesto perfect? No. Is it sufficiently good to support? Yes.

I had my doubts about Corbyn a year ago and I've withdrawn my concerns.

Corbyn is a steady hand, and he's head and shoulders above May and Farron. 

Nicola Sturgeon and Caroline Lucas are extremely capable too, but neither of them are going to be Prime Minister.  But I'll support anyone with serious and stable policy.

He emphasised that this is an apology to Jeremy and that he was wrong about his leadership appeal.

Jeremy and his team have got their act together. It's a much better campaign then anyone could have imagined. It's coherent, and much better than any other option. 

I'm hardly alone in backing Labour, look at all the other other economists that signed the letter to the Observer.

Murphy added that there was "nothing coherent about what the Tories are saying".

They're costing nothing, and want to put Britain under stress by putting us through austerity and hard Brexit. All they're going to do is put us through hard times. 

I'm not optimistic that Labour are going to win, no poll suggests that. But Theresa May has had a really bad time. Especially today over police cuts. 

She called the election thinking it was a forgone conclusion.

It isn't. 

More: People think Jeremy Corbyn turned a corner last night

Trending