Over 100 business leaders back Labour  

The letter, signed by current and former chief executives in retail, advertising, travel and finance, said Labour had shown it had changed and should be given a chance to shape the country’s future…reports Asian Lite News

More than 100 business leaders have given their support to Britain’s opposition Labour Party before a July 4 election, saying the country needs to end the instability and stagnation that has dogged the economy.

Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservatives have typically been the party of big business but Labour’s finance policy chief Rachel Reeves has spent years courting business owners in a bid to show her party can be trusted to run the economy.

The letter, signed by current and former chief executives in retail, advertising, travel and finance, said Labour had shown it had changed and should be given a chance to shape the country’s future.

“We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe that it is time for a change,” the letter said.

“We are in urgent need of a new outlook to break free from the stagnation of the last decade and we hope by taking this public stand we might persuade others of that need too.” Labour will hope the endorsement shows that it is no longer the party of Starmer’s predecessor, veteran left-wing lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, who campaigned at the last election in 2019 to renationalise some key assets and hike taxes on the rich.

Leaders who signed the letter include the boss of retailer Iceland, the chairman of JD Sports, the head of the UK arm of ad giant WPP, the former CEO of Aston Martin and the founder of a children’s company that once included Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty as an investor.

Starmer’s Labour have held an around 20-point lead in polls for almost a year. It has accused the government of 14 years of economic mismanagement, failing to give business the stability it craves and leaving people worse off.

Britain’s economic performance since the coronavirus pandemic has been the weakest among the Group ofSeven economies with the exception of Germany, weighed down by high levels of debt and stuck in a rut of slow growth.

Reeves will say later on Tuesday the endorsement shows that Labour can bring business investment back to Britain. “Our plans for growth are built on partnership with business,” she will say.

Sunak’s Conservatives say they have had to steer the economy through the twin shocks of Covid-19 and the energy spike that followed Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. A recent drop in inflation, they say, shows that the economy is back on track.

After an underwhelming start to the election campaign, Sunak has proposed tax cuts for millions of pensioners – the section of the electorate that is most likely to vote Conservative.

The new proposal will cost 2.4 billion pounds ($3.1 billion)a year by 2029/30 and be funded through government efforts to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion, the party said.

Rayner promises to fight to end Gaza’s suffering

Angela Rayner, the deputy leader of the UK’s Labour Party, has promised that her party will do everything in its power to ease the suffering in Gaza as it bids to regain Muslim voters’ support, a leaked video surfacing on social media has revealed.

The footage was first reported by the political blog Guido Fawkes, which claimed to have obtained the leaked tape from a meeting in Ashton-under-Lyne, Rayner’s constituency.

The MP is seen appealing to voters upset with the party’s stance on Israel’s assault on Gaza, The Telegraph reported. Rayner — claiming she worked “day and night” to get three British doctors out of Rafah and is now attempting to secure aid for the enclave — said: “I promise you, the Labour Party, including myself, is doing everything we can, because nobody wants to see what’s happening.”

She acknowledged the party’s current inability to halt the fighting, admitting that Labour’s influence would be “limited,” even if it came to power after July’s general election. Rayner added: “Only last week the Labour Party were supporting the ICC (International Criminal Court). The Conservatives didn’t support the ICC, so with this general election on that issue, we can’t affect anything when we’re not in government.

“And I’ll be honest with you, if Labour gets into government, we are limited. I will be honest. I’m not going to promise you … because (Joe) Biden, who’s the US (president), who has way more influence, has only got limited influence in that. And Qatar, Saudi Arabia, all of these people, we are all working to stop what’s happening at the moment; we want to see that. So I promise you, that’s what we want to see.”

Rayner also promised that, if Labour was elected, the party would recognize Palestinian statehood.

She added: “If Labour gets into power, we will recognize Palestine. I will push not only to recognize … there is nothing to recognize at the moment, sadly. It’s decimated. We have to rebuild Palestine; we have to rebuild Gaza. That takes more than just recognizing it.”

Gaza has been a divisive issue for Labour since Oct. 7, with reports revealing that Muslim voters have abandoned the party as a result of what they perceive as its politicians enabling the war.

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