DRD hosts roundtable on Labour’s business strategy

3 Nov 2022

DRD Partnership was pleased to host Labour MP Seema Malhotra, Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers, at a private roundtable this morning in London.

The breakfast presented an opportunity for a diverse business audience to hear from a key player in the development of the Labour Party’s BEIS policy – and Malhotra stressed the value she and her team place on working constructively with the business community as the Party looks ahead to a General Election.

The key point made by Malhotra was around the importance of delivering a stable and predictable regulatory environment for business.  In doing so, she pointed to recent economic upheaval and instability in the markets, alongside the apparent sidelining of institutions such as the Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility.

As part of that discussion, Malhotra noted the damage that debates over those institutions’ credibility does to the UK’s attractiveness as a place to invest.  Restoring faith in them will clearly be a priority for a new Labour government.

At the same time, Malhotra painted a picture of ongoing instability within the Government, despite new leadership.  Prime Minister Sunak’s U-turn on attending COP27, the decision to appoint Suella Braverman MP as Home Secretary and possible hesitancy around retaining Jeremy Hunt MP as Chancellor suggests, argued Malhotra, that the business of government remains distracted.

For Labour, an important piece of the puzzle remains rebuilding its relationship with corporates across the country.  A sensible partnership between business and government can, she said, help to deliver the public services we all expect.  The mission for employers is to “build bridges between people and opportunity” – a clear articulation of the prism through which Labour views the role for business in delivering economic growth.

Many thanks to all attendees, and Seema Malhotra MP, for their time and thoughtful questions and answers.