Labour means business, pledges shadow minister

21 Feb 2023

DRD was delighted to host Bill Esterson MP, Labour’s shadow minister for business and industry, at a roundtable with leading businesses and organisations this morning.

Declaring that “Labour means business”, the very clear message from Esterson was that Labour is in listening mode and is focused on developing what he described as a “very close relationship” with the business community.  In a refreshing appraisal of the policymaking process, Esterson was happy to reflect that politicians do not have all the answers and instead depend on business and those with sectoral interests to contribute where they can.  To that end, he invited submissions to Labour’s National Policy Forum consultation as the Party prepares its manifesto in advance of a General Election expected next year.

On specific policy areas, he gave a very clear signal on the direction of travel for the UK’s relationship with the EU under a Labour government.  While he said there was “no prospect” of re-joining the EU, a pragmatic and practical way forward would be forged.  In particular, the Party recognised the importance of ensuring that the UK’s services economy is appropriately nurtured.  At the same time, decarbonising the economy and implementing the Party’s industrial strategy would help guide the next Labour government’s early years.

*This breakfast is part of a sustained programme of engagement with Labour’s frontbench teams. If organisations would like to feed into Labour’s policymaking process, including via the National Policy Forum, please contact DRD Partnership to discuss how we can help.*