Shadow chancellor says conference is not ignoring Brexit but delegates chose other ‘bread and butter issues’ to debate

John McDonnell has dismissed controversy over the decision of the Labour party conference to exclude Brexit from a series of debates, saying this was the decision of members, who wanted to “build a consensus” on the issue.

The shadow chancellor said Labour delegates had chosen instead to select debates on “bread and butter issues” such as health and housing, and did not wish to divide the party over Brexit.

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