As Ed Miliband seeks to woo businesses, is Labour’s pro-enterprise stance credible?

Lord Wood of Anfield, shadow cabinet minister and adviser to Ed Miliband, says Yes.

Labour knows that the foundation of a successful Britain is the success of British business – large and small, home and abroad.

But to compete and succeed in the decades ahead, we need to address the long-term challenges of our economy.

It means tackling the deficit in technical skills that holds back firms in manufacturing and services. It needs consistent industrial policy right across government, targeting innovation, science, and renewing our national infrastructure.

It requires reforming markets that are not meeting the needs of business, in particular strengthening competition in banking and energy. And it means tackling the culture of short-termism that undermines the creation of long-term wealth.

Britain will never win as a country unless we remain an outward-looking, open economy. That is why we remain committed to a future inside a reformed EU.

This is an agenda for building a high-wage, high-skill economy: pro-business, but anti-“business as usual”.

Charlie Mullins, founder and chief executive of Pimlico Plumbers, says No.

Ed Miliband’s attempt at wooing the business community to Labour’s cause is about as brazen an electioneering ruse as I have ever seen.

Thank goodness it’s so unbelievable; we are supposed to believe that this socialist leopard has morphed into some kind of a capitalist tiger overnight.

The truth is there is no way that the unions’ boy, who favours market interventions for energy and mansion taxes, has suddenly had a Damascene moment and converted to the church of the free market.

What we have is a Labour leader sitting among the wreckage of a failed strategy of criticising the government’s public sector cuts and business-driven economic recovery.

He has nowhere to go, and so is trying to have a quid each way by attempting to cozy up to the private sector, while inventing the spectre of a “cost of living crisis”.

This will no doubt give him an excuse to flip back to his socialist leanings after, he imagines, he has moved into Number 10.

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