Labor has the support of 120 business leaders

Labor has won the support of a coalition of 120 business leaders, who argue Britain needs a 'new outlook' to overcome a decade of economic stagnation.

In a letter to The Times, these executives describe the economy as suffering from “instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus” and see the upcoming elections as an opportunity to transform the country.

The signatories include senior figures from a range of sectors including finance, technology and retail, all calling for change to help Britain achieve its full economic potential. Notable names among the signatories include former executives from JP Morgan, Heathrow, Aston Martin, JD Sports, Iceland and WPP, along with high-profile figures such as Wikipedia founder Sir Jimmy Wales and celebrity chef Tom Kerridge. The founder of a childcare company, in which the prime minister's wife previously owned shares, is also among the supporters.

This approval follows extensive efforts by Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, and Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer, who have called for business support ahead of the general election. The Labor Party wants to position itself as the pro-business party, a title traditionally claimed by the Conservatives, who have long used the support of business leaders to boost their economic credibility during election campaigns.

The endorsement also reflects the result of a survey by the British Business Excellence Awards, which found that 40 percent of the 1,000 business owners who took part in the Trends Research survey planned to vote Labor at the general election.

Since taking on the role of shadow chancellor, Reeves has actively engaged with City and business leaders, recently saying Labor would be more pro-business than during Tony Blair's tenure, promising investment in the stimulate the private sector.

Key signatories of the letter include:
Andy Palmer, former CEO of Aston Martin
John Holland-Kaye, former CEO of Heathrow
Andrew Higginson, chairman of JD Sports
Charles Harman, former vice chairman at JP Morgan Cazenove
Charles Randell, former chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority
Sir Malcolm Walker, founder of Iceland

Rachel Carrell, founder of Koru Kids, a company in which Sunak's wife Akshata Murty previously owned shares, also signed the letter.

The letter says: “We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe it is time for change. Our economy has been plagued by instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus for too long. Britain has the potential to become one of the strongest economies in the world. A lack of political stability and the absence of a consistent economic strategy have held this back. The country has been denied the skills and infrastructure it needs to prosper.”

The letter continues: “Labour has shown that it has changed and wants to work with business to realize Britain's full economic potential. We must now give the country the chance to change the country and lead Britain into the future. We urgently need a new perspective to break away from the stagnation of the past decade and we hope that by taking this public stand we can convince others of that need as well.”

Reeves is expected to declare at an event on Tuesday: “If we can bring business back to Labour, then I know we can bring business back to Britain – to bring investment back to Britain. To bring growth back to Britain. To bring hope back to Britain.”

This support marks a significant boost for Labor and underlines a growing desire among business leaders for a change in economic strategy and political stability to unlock Britain's full potential.

The Lib Dems told BBC News that businesses were “crying out for stability and certainty after years of Tory chaos and mismanagement”.

Adding: “The Liberal Democrats would launch an industrial strategy to boost investment and reform the broken business rates system to support our high streets.”

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