French academic rock star Thomas Piketty will help shape Jeremy Corbyn's business policy after taking a role in Labour's new economic advisory committee. The professor will serve in the group under John McDonnell, a close left-wing ally to Corbyn and Labour's shadow chancellor.
Left-winger Piketty, whose book Capital in the Twenty-First Century catapulted him to fame, will "discuss and help develop" ideas around the official economic strategy of the party when the committee meets on a quarterly basis.
"I am very happy to take part in this Economic Advisory Committee and assist the Labour Party in constructing an economic policy that helps tackle some of the biggest issues facing people in the UK," Piketty said. "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."
The award-winning economist will be joined by other big name academics, including Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Danny Blanchflower.
"I am delighted to convene this Economic Advisory Committee that will assist in developing a radical but pragmatic and deliverable economic policy for our country," McDonnell said. "Our Economic Advisory Committee will assist in developing a fairer and more prosperous economic alternative based upon investment and growth which reaches all sections of society. Austerity is failing the people of this country. Working alongside world leading economists Labour will present the coherent alternative our country desperately needs."
But Richard Murphy, who was served as an informal economics adviser to Corbyn and is cited as the man behind the Labour leader's people's quantitative easing (PQE) policy, has not been included in the group. The tax justice campaigner caught up with IBTimes UK on 17 September to discuss his new-found political fame. Murphy revealed that he had been in talks with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett since Corbyn's election. The accountant also said he would be open to taking a job from the new Labour leader.
"If he wants to offer me a job and it's the right job, which will use my skills in a way that I think are appropriate and which will also fit in with my family's life, then I would do it. I'm sure I would take it," Murphy said.