Theresa May is bidding to win the support of Tory members from today with pledges to tackle bad corporate governance

Mark Sands
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Theresa May Remains The Favourite To Become Conservative Party Leader
Theresa May has been favourite to become the new Tory leader since Boris Johnson declined to enter the race (Source: Getty)

Theresa May will tomorrow begin her efforts to win over Conservative party members with promises to tackle big business and boost shareholder accountability.

Speaking in Birmingham, May will promise to unite the party and offer strong leadership, while hitting out at failures in corporate governance.

“The people who run big businesses are supposed to be accountable to outsiders, to non-executive directors, who are supposed to ask the difficult questions, think about the long-term and defend the interests of shareholders,” she will say.

“In practice, they are drawn from the same, narrow social and professional circles as the executive team and – as we have seen time and time again – the scrutiny they provide is just not good enough.

“So if I’m Prime Minister, we’re going to change that system – and we’re going to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.”

The home secretary will also promise to make shareholder votes on corporate pay binding, rather than advisory.

Read More: Leadsom publishes 2014/15 tax return

Meanwhile, May's rival for the leadership, energy minister Andrea Leadsom has been handed a boost by her former employer, after being dogged by questions over her time in the City.

Leadsom was last week forced to publish her CV in a bid to clarify her work history, but the former chief investment officer of Invesco Perpetual, under whom Leadsom worked for 10 years, has now backed the minister.

Bob Yerbury told the Wall Street Journal that Leadsom was "totally honest", adding that she would make an "outstanding" Prime Minister.

“I would never, ever doubt her honesty,” Yerbury said. “Andrea doesn’t play games.”

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