Labour is the party of business, says Keir Starmer

Labour is the party of business, says Keir Starmer
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer gives a speech at the National Composites Centre inGetty Images

Sir Keir Starmer is setting out Labour’s plans to reverse the UK economy’s sluggish growth at a day-long summit with business leaders.

The Labour leader and his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves are stepping up efforts to win business support ahead of the general election.

In a speech, Sir Keir will say he “takes immense pride” in changing Labour’s relationship with business.

The Conservatives have accused Sir Keir of changing stance on economy.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laura Trott said: “Keir Starmer’s record of making promises and then dropping them when they become inconvenient shows Labour will not provide businesses with the stability and certainty they need to invest.”

Labour have rolled back their pledge to increase green investment £28bn a year, after the plan as first announced by shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves in September 2021,

On Thursday, shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told the BBC, Labour can no longer promise that green investment would reach that “particular level”.

A Labour government’s investments would be “determined by how strong the economy is”, Mr Reynolds told BBC Breakfast.

‘Roll up our sleeves’

The event in central London will be attended be FTSE 100 chief executives as well as international investors and ambassadors. Tickets for the event sold out in four hours, with hundreds said to be on the waiting list to attend.

Among those attending the business summit is Iceland’s executive chairman Richard Walker, a former Conservative donor who this week switched to Labour

Sir Keir has promised Labour will “roll up our sleeves and get under the bonnet to fix an unprecedented stagnation in British productivity growth” if elected.

He will say: “You can’t overstate what the British people have been through in the past 14 years. It’s not just the permanent cycle of crisis, there is something much more fundamentally broken in the way this country creates wealth.

“Fifteen years of lost wage growth and an economy with weak foundations that, even in the calmer moments, can’t provide the security working people need to look forward doesn’t just hold back our potential but also rips up the contract and values that keep a country together.

“It undermines the sense that if you work hard and play by the rules, you will have a chance in Britain and the future will be better for your children.”

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By David Ryckman