John McDonnell criticised for Autumn Statement Mao stunt

Labour's John McDonnell has received criticism after he read a quote from former Chinese dictator Chairman Mao in his response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement and Spending Review, before throwing the Little Red Book toward the Chancellor in the Commons.

The Shadow Chancellor's stunt was intended to highlight a recent deal that saw the Chinese government buy a significant stake in the British nuclear industry.

A number of shadow cabinet members sitting behind Mr McDonnell appeared visibly embarrassed by the move, with some simply staring at the ground.

And several political commentators and opposition MPs were unimpressed by the shadow chancellor's decision to quote a former Communist leader who some historians have claimed is the greatest mass murderer in history.

Later, former shadow minister Chuka Umunna told ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener: "I generally don't quote Communist leaders - authoritarian dictators or otherwise.

"Who others quote is up to them. Each to their own," he added.

The shadow chancellor later tweeted a video with highlights of his response to the Autumn statement, though this omitted the Mao section.