Tom Watson tells Labour to move on from Miliband's predators business analogy

Mark Sands
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Labour's Deputy Leader Tom Watson Addresses Party Conference
Watson was elected Labour deputy leader in 2015. (Source: Getty)

Five years after then Labour leader Ed Miliband labelled some businesses as "predators" Tom Watson has called on the party to change its attitude to big business.

Speaking at the Labour party conference centre in Liverpool, Watson, who serves as Jeremy Corbyn's deputy, said Labour had failed to move on from former leader Ed Miliband's infamous comparison of firms as predators and producers on 2011.

And today Watson acknowledged that the former leader's classification of the business world was a mistake.

"In the past, big businesses were too easily cast as predators. We meant to say that we would stand up to the abuse of corporate power as the Tories never will.

"But we ended up sounding like we were anti-business; anti-prosperity; anti-success," Watson said.

"Money’s not the problem. Business isn’t bad. The real world is more complicated than that, as any practical trade unionist will tell you," he added.

In a wide-ranging speech that saw the deputy leader blast party members for criticising Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, Watson also paid tribute to London mayor Sadiq Khan who earlier told party members that Labour must move on from its leadership battle to seek power.

Watson hailed Khan as "a champion" and an "outstanding representative" of both London and the party.

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