SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell has praised Brighton Labour Party’s commitment to socialism.

He backed policy proposals in its manifesto, saying they were the radical and socialist way to push back against national austerity policies.

The party said Mr McDonnell’s decision to support the manifesto is an indication that Jeremy Corbyn is “paying close attention to the election in the city”.

In a video shot at his Westminster office, Mr McDonnell said: “I am proud to endorse the Brighton Labour Group’s manifesto for the election this May.

“Labour councillors asked members of the community to feed their ideas into its manifesto, and the results have been truly inspiring.

“Common sense proposals to build a fairer, more democratic society from the ground up.”

He promised to help Labour in the city fight to “oppose and reverse the cuts to our vital public services”.

He said a Labour council would emphasise “standing up to the property speculators and building council homes again, opposing the creeping Tory privatisation of our health and education services”.

In a joint statement, Daniel Yates, leader of the city council, and Jon Rogers, chairman of the party’s Local Campaigns Forum, said: “It is inspiring to hear the shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, congratulating Brighton and Hove Labour Party for our radical, practical approach to building socialism ‘from the ground up’.

“His support encourages us to redouble our efforts to secure the Labour majority council which can enact our socialist manifesto.

“We engaged with our thousands of members, and more widely with the local community and our ideas come from the grassroots of Brighton and Hove.

“We will build 800 new homes as we seek to eliminate rough sleeping.

“We will defend our NHS, bring public services back in-house and invest in a safer city. Crucially, we will respond to the climate crisis by making our city carbon neutral by 2030.

“We will defend our schools from further privatisation, establishing a local education board which will prefigure the national education service which will soon be created by the next Labour Government.”