September 27, 2015 / 2:46 PM / 4 years ago

Stiglitz, Piketty to help Labour shape anti-austerity policies

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize for Economics and Professor School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, speaks during the closing of the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2015 in Riviera Maya, Mexico, May 8, 2015. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia - RTX1C64C

BRIGHTON, England (Reuters) - Opposition Labour Party said on Sunday it had set up an advisory committee including Nobel Prize-winning U.S. economist Joseph Stiglitz and Frenchman Thomas Piketty to help develop its anti-austerity policies.

The committee will meet quarterly under Labour’s finance spokesman, John McDonnell, a hard-left ally of the party’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

McDonnell has advocated renationalising Britain’s rail system, curbing the power of the country’s six big energy suppliers and stripping responsibility from the Bank of England for setting interest rates, handing it back to the government.

Labour is holding a conference in the southern resort town of Brighton, its first since Corbyn took over the leadership with a stunning election victory earlier this month over better-known and more centrist party figures.

The veteran leftist welcomed the creation of the committee to press his case for opposing austerity measures pursued by the ruling Conservative party, which dealt Labour a heavy defeat in a parliamentary election in May.

“Our economy must deliver security for all, not just riches for a few,” Corbyn said in a statement.

Piketty, who shot to fame and topped best-seller lists in 2014 with his book on wealth and inequality, said he was very happy to take part in the committee along with five other economists.

“There is now a brilliant opportunity for the Labour party to construct a fresh and new political economy which will expose austerity for the failure it has been in the UK and Europe,” said the author of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Writing by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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