General Election 2015: More business leaders join chorus of support for Conservative economic plan

 
Guy Bentley
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Miliband under pressure for business (Source: Getty)

Ed Miliband's battle with Britain's senior business leaders continued today after another 17 captains of industry signed a letter supporting the Conservatives' economic plan.

Yesterday the Daily Telegraph's front page brandished a letter signed by more than 100 business leaders including household names like BP and Prudential sounding their support for Tory economic policy and warned of reversing cuts to corporation tax.

Among the 17 who decided to add their names to the original letter were the chief executive of BBA Aviation Simon Pryce, chairman of Pinewood Studios Michael Grade and Paul Kelly, the chief executive of Selfridges.

Some Labour supporters fear the backlash from business could prove a crucial weapon in the Tory arsenal in portraying Ed Miliband as anti-enterprise and anti-wealth creation. A pivotal moment during the 2010 General Election campaign was when businesspeople enthusiastically endorsed George Osborne's pledge to halt a rise in National Insurance for those earning less than £45,000.

Labour clashed with many businesses earlier this week over zero-hours contracts. Miliband promised his party would force firms to fire people who had been on zero hours contracts for 12 weeks or hire them on a permanent contract.

The battle of letters hasn't been entirely one-sided, however. Labour hit back last night with a letter signed by a mixture business people and low-paid workers endorsing Ed Miliband's approach to the economy.

Labour politicians dismissed the pro-Tory letter with Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham tweeting "This Telegraph front-page screams out one thing to me: The Tories are the Party of the one per cent, not the 99 per cent."

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