Pimlico Plumbers boss Charlie Mullins today defended Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson as a “great champion for business”.
The colourful entrepreneur told City A.M. that he was backing Johnson as the UK’s next Prime Minister, despite taking opposing sides in the Brexit debate.
“He’s a fan of business, I know he made that chuck away comment, but he’s a great champion for business,” Mullins said.
During the referendum campaign Johnson was reported to have said “f**k business” in response to corporate concerns about the effect of a hard Brexit.
In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Johnson defended his record as a campaigner for business.
“I can’t think of anybody in my party or any party that has stuck up for financial services in London during some very difficult times, and indeed I can’t think of anybody who has gone around the world championing UK businesses,” he told Sky.
Mullins called on the UK’s next Prime Minister to “sort out the ‘gig-economy’ shadow hanging over businesses”.
Read more: Tories draw up new Brexit battle lines
Mullins said Pimlico Plumbers had spent £400,000-£500,000 in legal fees fighting an employment tribunal claim brought by one of the company’s former plumbers, Gary Smith.
The case went to the Supreme Court which decided he had worker’s rights, but the company won a later employment tribunal claim brought by Smith.
Smith’s legal team say they are examining an appeal.
Mullins said: “We need to bring employment law into the 21st century. We need to stop all this nonsense about gig economy and have some clarity there and shut down the loopholes.”