John McDonnell is set to announce an “irreversible” shift in investment from London to northern England and Scotland if Labour gains the keys to Downing St on December 12.

Making his first speech of the election campaign in Liverpool, the Shadow Chancellor will today outline plans to "put power into the hands of communities" with a pledge to make investment decisions less focused on London and the home counties.

Mr McDonnell’s visit to north-west England alongside Jeremy Corbyn will also involve the unveiling of Labour’s campaign bus emblazoned with the party’s election message: "It's time for real change." The Labour leader will use the bus on visits to dozens of target seats in the coming five weeks of campaigning.

This evening, Mr Corbyn will speak at a “barnstorming rally” in Manchester.

In his speech on Merseyside, Mr McDonnell will tell supporters that he wants to bring about an “irreversible shift in the balance of power and wealth in favour of working people".

He is expected to say: "That change means investment on a scale never seen before in this country and certainly never seen before in the north and outside of London and the south-east.

“To achieve that objective also requires, therefore, an irreversible shift in the centre of gravity in political decision-making and investment in this country from its location solely in London into the north and regions and nations of our country.”

His focus on empowering parts of the country outwith southern England follows his announcement in the summer that he would move part of the Treasury out of Whitehall.

Mr McDonnell wants to base the team in charge of Labour's national transformation fund - a £250 billion unit responsible for overhauling Britain's creaking transport system and other infrastructure - in the north of England.

The Shadow Chancellor has committed to holding ministerial meetings outside of Westminster if he secures the keys to Number 11 following the election result.

Mr McDonnell, speaking in the city of his birth, will say: "Power is coming home, back to the people.

"We can only deliver the real change we need by putting power into the hands of communities, of the people who know their local area best."

On his plans to shift the "powerful section" of the Treasury to an undeclared part of northern England, he is set to say: "But it's not just about spending more, it's about how it's spent, with decision-making devolved down to local communities.

"Labour's Treasury ministers will meet outside of London and will have a ministerial office in the north. The centre of gravity of political gravity is shifting away from London," he will declare.

Mr McDonnell is also due to announce the addition of £100bn to Labour's proposal for a social transformation fund to upgrade schools, hospitals, care homes and council houses, providing a total of £150bn to be spent over the next five years.

Yesterday on the stump in Shropshire, Mr Corbyn was warmly applauded during a speech to party members when he pledged to end charitable status for private schools, saying: "We will be expecting those in private education, those private educational establishments, to pay tax rather than get charitable status."

During a wide-ranging speech at a university campus in Telford, the Labour leader said that his party was well-organised, well-prepared and "utterly determined" to win the election.

He added: "For me, real politics, the politics that I stand for, is about sharing power and wealth with people who don't have a lot of money, don't have friends in high places."

In other developments:

*Mr Corbyn dismissed Boris Johnson's slur comparing him to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin as "nonsense" spouted by the super-rich who did not want to pay any more tax;

*Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, criticised Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Commons Leader, for his "arrogance" over his comments on Grenfell Tower victims, saying they should have used “common sense” to ignore the fire brigade's "stay put" policy and

*Labour’s ruling NEC decided not to endorse Chris Williamson, Stephen Hepburn and Roger Godsiff as election candidates.