Prominent regional business leaders back ‘changed’ Labour

Richard Walker and Rachel Reeves

The Labour Party has brandished its business credentials today with a pledge of support from a range of business leaders, some of whom were prominent Conservative supporters in previous elections.

Notable regional signatories include Iceland foods founder Sir Malcolm Walker and his son Richard Walker, chief executive of the North Wales headquartered retailer.

Andy Higginson, chairman of JD Sports, has also put his name to the letter which says Labour has shown it has changed and wants to work with business to achieve the UK’s full economic potential. 

In the region’s burgeoning tech and digital sector Lou Cordwell, chair of the Greater Manchester Business Board and the founder of Magnetic, has signed the letter, as has Hugh Campbell, managing director of GP Bullhound, Paul Corcoran, chief executive of Liverpool-based Agent, and Amul Batra, Co-Founder & Chief Partnerships Officer, Northcoders, the stock market listed tech training business.

Other North West businesses supporting Labour include: Tony Carney, managing director, of Huyton Asphalt Civils; Brian Hay, founder and chief executive of freight and shipping business Cardinal; Kevin McGrath, Chairman, Regional REIT plc, Frank McKenna from Downtown in Business; Piers Linney, Co-founder, Implement AI.

The statement says: “We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe that it is time for a change. For too long now, our economy has been beset by instability, stagnation, and a lack of long-term focus. 

“The United Kingdom has the potential to be one of the strongest economies in the world. A lack of political stability and the absence of consistent economic strategy has held it back. The country has been denied the skills and infrastructure it needs to flourish. 

“We are looking for a government that will partner fiscal discipline with a long-term growth strategy, working in partnership with the private sector to drive innovation and investment to build digital and physical capital and fix our skills system. This is the only way to put us on track for sustained productivity growth.

“Labour has shown it has changed and wants to work with business to achieve the UK’s full economic potential. We should now give it the chance to change the country and lead Britain into the future. 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.”