Monday 9 December 2019 12:09 pm

Phones 4U billionaire John Caudwell tells John McDonnell he may leave UK if Labour wins election

Billionaire Phones 4U founder John Caudwell told shadow chancellor John McDonnell today that he was considering leaving the country if the Labour party wins Thursday’s General Election. 

“Nearly every wealthy person I know is thinking of leaving the UK including me if Labour gets in,” Caudwell said in a discussion with McDonnell that was broadcast today by the BBC.

Read more: Labour to ‘get money moving out of Whitehall and the City’

Caudwell hit out at McDonnell’s recent statements on the rich and at Labour’s tax plans.


“When I hear words like, or phrases like, ‘nobody deserves to be a billionaire’ and phrases like ‘we’re going to tax high technology companies’, it frightens the living daylights out of me and out of society,” he said.

McDonnell replied:  “I’ve actually said I do pay tribute to those people, the entrepreneurs, who create the wealth, who pay their taxes and act responsibly, I do that every time.

“But is it about having a fair taxation system as well.”

Caudwell said: “We need to encourage people to be inspired, to be successful and to make Britain great. 

“To create the money but we also need to inspire them to stay onshore to pay the taxes, to pay fair taxes and to be charitable.”

Read more: John McDonnell outlines plans to borrow extra £58bn for Waspi women pledge

Caudwell, who is worth £1.5bn, said he had paid over £300m in taxes in the past 10 years.


Caudwell made more than £1.2bn in 2006 through the sale of the mobile phone business he started.

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