A top Labour donor has warned that Jeremy Corbyn must improve his relationship with the private sector if he is going to return his party to government.
“If there is going to be a Labour government, it is going to be on the basis of support from both business and middle England,” John Mills, chairman and founder of JML told City A.M. last night.
“One of my concerns about the Corybn approach is that I am not sure how strong a partnership with the private sector is really a part of his agenda,” said Mills.
Mills, who is also a leader of the eurosceptic “Labour for Britain” group, has donated shares valued at more than £1.7m in his company to the Labour party over the last 10 years.
His brother David Mills is married to Labour politician Tessa Jowell, who lost out on the party’s London mayoral candidacy to Sadiq Khan last week.
He told City A.M. that even though his preferred leadership candidate, Liz Kendall, received just 4.5 per cent of the vote, there remained a place for supporters like him in the party.
“The Labour party is not just the Corbyn shadow cabinet,” he said
“There is a much wider Labour party, and I think one of the results of Corbyn’s success in the election is it is going to open up a much wider debate about what the Labour stands for. I would very much like to be a part of it.”
Mills said that the party needed to learn an “important lesson” that there is a “significant proportion of the population who really feel strongly about austerity.”
“There is a very widespread feeling that these policies are not effective,” he added. “My concern is whether the Corbyn agenda will be as effective at resolving these problems as it has been in highlighting them.”
Support for Corbyn poured in over the weekend from politicians from around the word. More than a few of their messages raised eyebrows...
The left-leaning candidate in the US Democratic primary contest said he was “delighted” by Corbyn’s victory, telling reporters: “We need leadership in every country in the world which tells the billionaire class that they cannot have it all.”
In a statement on Saturday, Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party said Corbyn’s win “sends message of hope to the people of Europe”. Its former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is expected to make similar overtures when he takes the stage with Corbyn at an event in London tonight.
CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER
Argentina’s president said Corbyn’s victory was a “triumph for those of us who represent the will to put politics at the service of the people”. Corbyn has called for a power-sharing “joint administration” between Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
Controversial Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams tweeted on Saturday: “Well done Jeremy Corbyn.” Adams has long been accused of being a member of the IRA, while Corbyn has been criticised for failing to explicitly condemn the organisation.