Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and business leaders back Labour

Labour's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves delivers a speech on the British economy ahead of the release of the Bank of England's monetary policy on May 7, 2024 in London, England.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – More than a hundred business leaders expressed their support for Britain's center-left opposition Labor party on Tuesday, almost five weeks before the country goes to the polls.

The group, which includes Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and former JP Morgan Cazenove vice chairman Charles Harman, said in a open letter told The Times newspaper: “We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe it is time for change.”

The letter's authors argue that the British economy has suffered from a decade of stagnation, amid a lack of both political stability and a consistent long-term economic strategy. The country is being “denied the skills and infrastructure it needs to prosper,” the letter said.

The Labor Party has “shown that it has changed and is committed to working with business to realize Britain's full economic potential”, they said.

Signatories are also included WPPBritish President Karen Blackett, chairman of the JD Sports and British Retail Consortium Andrew Higginson, and the former CEOs of Tesco Bank and Heathrow Airport. Few current FTSE 250 CEOs are on the list.

The right-wing Conservative Party has been in power since 2010, initially as part of a coalition with the smaller, centrist Liberal Democratic Party. Britain has had five prime ministers in that period.

The last British general election took place in 2019 and resulted in a decisive victory for the Conservatives under former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in 2022 after a series of controversies.

Political polls over the past two years have pointed to a likely Labor victory, despite the high level of attrition in national elections that will be required.

Incumbent Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a surprise election for July 4 last week. In his speech and in comments to the media, Sunak said his government had overseen a fall in inflation and a return to economic growth.

The British economy grew by 0.6% in the first quarter, after falling into a superficial recession last year.

Labor has placed great emphasis on pursuing fiscal discipline in the party's campaign messages. In a release Tuesday, Labor said said The promises include the creation of a new government-owned energy company and bringing train operators under public ownership.

Labour's shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and former banker Rachel Reeves, meanwhile, has made a long-running attempt to win over business and financial executives.

In a speech on Tuesday, Reeves said the Labor Party would cap corporate tax at current levels, work with the private sector to boost British investment and publish a business tax roadmap within six months of taking power. the BBC reported.

Delivering his own speech During the campaign, Sunak said Labor would not provide people with financial security, according to the BBC.

CNBC has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.

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