The Labor Party secured the support of 120 business executives

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Labor has won the backing of 120 business executives, signaling a clear endorsement of the party’s strategy to engage the City of London and its promise to restore “stability” to the economy British economy if they win the election.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves is expected to give a speech on Tuesday to say the Labor Party has changed forever and will be a “pro-business, pro-labour” party if it This is guaranteed safe won the poll on July 4th.

Before the speech, 120 business directors wrote to The Times in support of Labor and criticism Conservatives‘ handling of an economy which they said was “beset by instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus”.

The Labor Party regularly seeks business endorsements in election campaigns as part of its efforts to persuade voters of its credentials in running the economy, and the letter will be seen by Reeves as a coup.

The letter said: “Labour has shown it has changed and wants to work with business to achieve the UK’s full economic potential. Now we should give it the chance to change the country and lead Britain into the future.”

Both Reeves and Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer have been flirting with the business for years, during what the City calls “smoked salmon and scrambled eggs”.

It highlights how Starmer is seeking to “detoxify” the Labor Party after moving to the left under former party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The letter’s signatories include Andy Palmer, former chief executive of Aston Martin; John Holland-Kaye, former CEO of Heathrow Airport; Andrew Higginson, president of JD Sports; and Charles Harman, former vice chairman of JPMorgan Cazenove.

Charles Randell, who stepped down as chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority in 2022 and has since clashed with the government over regulation of crypto assets, is another signatory, along with Hon. Malcolm Walker, founder of Iceland.

Walker signed a Tory business letter during the 2015 election campaign. His son, Richard, backed Starmer for prime minister this year, having previously sought to become the Party’s parliamentary candidate Conservative before leaving the party in 2023.

Other signatories include Benny Higgins, former chief executive of Tesco Bank; and Mark Mullen, boss of Atom Bank.

“We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe it is time for change,” the letter said. For too long, our economy has been beset by instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus.

“The UK has the potential to become one of the strongest economies in the world. . . We are in desperate need of a new vision to escape the stagnation of the past decade, and we hope that by taking this public stance, we can also convince others of that need. .”

Some of the most prominent signatories no longer hold the senior business roles for which they are best known, and the UK’s largest listed companies largely avoided signing the letter.

Most large listed companies are careful to avoid overtly partisan politics, making it difficult to secure public support.

In his speech on Tuesday, Reeves will call on business leaders to work with the incoming Labor government, stressing that partnerships between the two sides are vital to driving economic growth. international.

She will say her plans are “built on partnerships with business” but at the same time a Labor government will be “pro-worker”.

The Conservatives say Labour’s “new deal” on workers’ rights will undermine growth, with new rules restricting zero-hours contracts and giving employees more rights from day one. work head.

Reeves argues that responsible employers would welcome a package of measures to deter their competitors from engaging in poor workplace practices.


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