Miliband under fresh attack from business over his party’s views

LABOUR leader ED Miliband has come under fresh attack from business leaders for taking “anti-business” views.

Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband

Lord Haskins, formerly Christopher Haskins, chairman of Northern Foods, said Labour had “not done itself any favours with some of its rhetoric”.

In the Sunday Times, Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, said Labour had not been sensible to propose an energy price freeze and warned that Mr Miliband had failed to capitalise on his party’s pro-EU stance to win over business support.

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Chris Wright, founder of Chrysalis music publishers, said Labour risked stoking “politics of envy” which would damage Britain’s prospects.

But Labour MPs have insisted their party is “furiously” pro-business in a fight back after days of backlash against Mr Miliband. Several big players including Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt and Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint sought to play down the recent row over their leader’s spat with the business community.

Last week, Mr Miliband dismissed Boots chief executive Stefano Pessina as a Monaco-based tax avoider whose advice would not be welcomed by voters, which in turn led to accusations the party is anti-business.

Mr Pessina had warned of a potential “catastrophe” for the country if Labour wins in May. But Mr Hunt said Labour was on the side of Britain’s business people and a “furiously, passionately, aggressively pro-business party”.

David Cameron accused Labour of having “a sneering hatred of business”.