John McDonnell says taking water, energy and rail back into public ownership is a step forward, not back. But questions remain over costs and long-term benefits
Labour has outlined plans to bring the rail, water and energy supply industries back into public ownership. Royal Mail will also be nationalised as part of a manifesto pledge to reverse some of the high-profile privatisations pushed through by the Conservatives in the 1980s and 90s, and by the more recent coalition government. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell brushed aside concerns that it would be a step back to an era when nationalised industries were characterised by lack of investment, labour disputes and poor services. Nonetheless, questions remain.