On Monday night, we said farewell to the Labour Finance and Industry Group (LFIG) as it relaunched under its new name, Labour Business. Labour Business has an incredibly proud history: it was established by Harold Wilson in 1972 to start that conversation with the business community which Labour must have in order to win elections, and remains the oldest, largest, and only business group affiliated to the Labour Party.
With this in mind, Labour Business is excited to launch with the publication of a new white paper by Stephen Kinnock MP on how Labour should work with business to restore its pro-business reputation and economic credibility.
Labour Business would be the first to admit that Labour’s pro-business credentials took a serious hit in the 2015 General Election. Labour was perceived as an “anti-business” party, which is one of the reasons why we lost. Whether that perception is fair or not is another matter. But as we know, perception is all in modern politics. To win again, we must bust the myth that Labour is an anti-business party and we must re-establish Labour’s economic credibility.
That’s why Labour Business was so keen to publish Stephen Kinnock’s analysis of what a pro-business Labour policy should look like. The strength of his analysis is that, rather than setting out a shopping list of individual retail offers for the business community, it begins to describe an over-arching narrative for a more joined-up approach to the economy and business under a Labour government. Importantly, in our view, it calls for a partnership between government, business and the trades unions in laying the foundations for a more productive economy. Equally important, with the European Referendum looming, it restates Labour’s overwhelmingly pro-EU attitude as a key component of our pro-business credentials.