Business chiefs back Conservatives in UK elections | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 01.04.2015
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Business chiefs back Conservatives in UK elections

The two main British parties are neck-and-neck in the polls ahead of the May 7 general elections. But business leaders have now weighed in, perhaps giving one party a much-needed boost.

Over 100 British business chiefs publicly expressed support for a Conservative-led government on Wednesday, saying it would be "good for business."

The backing could provide a much-needed boost to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in a tight contest with the main opposition candidate, Labour party leader Ed Miliband.

Online polls also indicate neither party will win an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament. With no clear frontrunner, the race is predicted to be the closest British election in a generation.

"We believe this Conservative-led government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation," business executives wrote in an open letter printed on the front page of the "Daily Telegraph."

"We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk," they said.

Among the 103 signatories were BP CEO Bob Dudley, the boss of Arcadia retail group Philip Green, entrepreneur Luke Johnson and the outgoing boss of insurer Prudential, Tidjane Thiam, who is slated to become the CEO of Credit Suisse.

Not a bombshell

But the Labour Party seemed unfazed by the letter. "No one will be surprised that some business people are calling for low taxes for big businesses," said Labour's business spokesman Chuka Umunna.

Earlier in the week, Labour published its own business list, which immediately came under fire for featuring quotes out of context from a number of British business leaders, as well as for implying support for Labour that may not have been there.

Within hours, four of the six company bosses had disassociated themselves from the advertisement.

el/ng (Reuters, AFP)

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