The Labour leader said the ex-Greek finance minister has already met with John McDonnell and will advise the party ‘in some capacity’
By Kate McCann, Senior Political Correspondent
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is advising the Labour party on the economy, Jeremy Corbyn has revealed.
The controversial ex-minister, who was forced to resign after his country plunged into a debt crisis, has met with shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the Labour party leader said.
The news came as Paul Mason, the former Channel 4 journalist and strident anti-austerity campaigner, announced he has joined Labour’s economic lecture tour.
The journalist and film-maker revealed his departure from the state broadcaster as part of a plan to “work for a while outside the impartiality framework” dictated by the channel.
In an interview in the Islington Tribune newspaper Mr Corbyn spoke of being interested in Mr Varoufakis because of his experience in Europe.
He said: “I think the way Greece has been treated is terrible and we should reach out to them.
“I realise we’re not in the Eurozone but it’s a question of understanding how we challenge the notion that you can cut your way to prosperity when in reality you have to grow your way to prosperity.”
Mr Corbyn said the the former finance minister will be advising Labour “in some capacity” and revealed he has already met with John McDonnell to discuss economic issues.
Mr Varoufakis is a controversial figure in Greek politics because he led calls to reject an EU bailout plan which demanded more austerity at the height of the country’s financial struggles.
Photo: Heathcliff O’Malley
At the time he accused EU leaders of “terrorism” towards Greece for attempting to force strict financial measures on the struggling country. He also claimed that “austerity is like trying to extract milk from a sick cow by whipping it”.
Mr Corbyn has also recently met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the two men share views on anti-austerity measures.
The Labour leader said: “We both want to see an economic strategy around anti-austerity, and we’re both very concerned about the activities and power of the European Central Bank, although Britain is not in the Eurozone and isn’t likely to be.”