Labour Business Relations

British businesses, both large and small, are vital to the future success of our country. But we know that in today's tough economic climate many face significant challenges as they seek to expand and develop.One Nation Labour is determined to recognise and support enterprise so we can modernise and reform our economy to create the jobs and growth the UK needs. And we want to hear from business about how we can best achieve this.

We remain as keen as ever to engage and build relationships with the business community, regardless of political affiliation. The opportunity to engage in lively discussion and debate is invaluable to us as we continue to develop our business policies.

Recent Events;

Labour's 'Better Plan for Britain's Prosperity'

Labour's plan builds on the feedback that the business community have given us over the past four and a half years – setting out how the next Labour Government will chart a path to higher productivity in all parts of the economy as the basis of a renewed and inclusive prosperity. Central to Labour’s plan is an understanding that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed.

Specifically, Labour’s better plan will:

1. Recognise that Britain’s world class firms, in sectors which enjoy established comparative advantage, need to be able to take long-term decisions and access key markets, not simply ever lower taxes

2. Prioritise doing everything we can to ensure more smaller businesses reach their potential to power future growth

3. Develop a new industrial strategy that focuses not just on high-tech firms, but also on supporting our big employing sectors such as retail and social care to win a race to the top and not get dragged into a race to the bottom

4. Ensure the public sector plays an active part in driving up productivity across the whole economy, supporting firms through cutting-edge innovation and research, strategic investment and procurement
Taken together, Labour’s plan will deliver the sustainable growth and rising living standards that our country needs and ensure our economy works for all working people.

To read a copy of Ed Miliband's speech, please click here.

To read the report, please click here.

Final NG; Next Generation, Labour's entrepreneurs' network event at the Borough Market, January 27 with Chuka Umunna MP

On Tuesday 27 January we were joined by four of the UKs leading new business figures for our final NG; Next Generation event. These included:

  • Paul Lindley, Founder of Ella’s Kitchen
  • Sarah Wood, Co-Founder and COO of Unruly
  • Jamie Mitchell, former Managing Director of Innocent Drinks and now Executive Chairman of Tom Dixon
  • Michelle Ovens, National Campaigns Director for Small Business Saturday 

Small Business Manifesto breakfast with Toby Perkins MP

On  Tuesday 25 November we were joined by Toby Perkins MP and representatives from the main small business organisations for a roundtable discussion on the Labour Party's small business policy as party of our manifesto process.

Inspiring ‘the British Dream’: encouraging young people to start out in business.

On 17 November, we were joined by over 200 members of the Young IoD and NG; Next Generation Labour Entrepreneurs Network for a discussion on Inspiring ‘the British Dream’: encouraging young people to start out in business.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna MP was joined on the panel with 5 of the UKs most successful young entrepreneurs. Emily Brooke, CEO of Blaze, Hermione Taylor, Founding Director of The DoNation, George Burgess, CEO and Founder of Gojimo, Arthur Kay, CEO and Co-Founder of Bio – Bean and Adam Soliman, Founder of Charbrew.

Ed Miliband's speech to the CBI Annual Conference

On 10 November Ed Miliband addressed the CBI’s Annual Conference. In his speech he said that big change is needed in the economy to address the deep-rooted discontent threatening to take Britain out of Europe. He warned that those who advocate withdrawal from the EU, or flirt with it, are putting Britain’s future prosperity in deep jeopardy and that the Government’s approach has made it harder to secure the reform needed to make Europe work better for Britain.

To read the full text of Ed Miliband's speech, please click here.

Economy & Growth manifesto Breakfast, 11 November 2014

On 11 Novemeber we were joined by Chris Leslie MP, Iain Wright MP for a discussion on what else government could do to ensure businesses are operating in an environment that helps them to grow and the role that an active industrial strategy can play in this respect. There was also discussion of the wider and longer-term challenges facing our economy particularly in relation to productivity and an ageing population.

Science Policy Breakfast, 29 October 2014 

On 29 October, we were joined by Liam Byrne MP, Chi Onwurah MP and Lord Hunt of Kings Heath for a discussion on the Labour Party's plans for Science. Labour’s vision for science is an ambitious, long-term plan supported by world-class universities, and a strong, inclusive pipeline of STEM skills and vocation training. Earlier this year the Labour Party published Agenda 2030: Labour’s plan for Science. The document, available here, outlines Labour’s strategy for strengthening British science in order to build a new knowledge economy based on innovation and skills.

The Labour Party’s Fourth Annual Business Reception

On Wednesday 22 July we brought together over 1,300 businesses - both large and small - from a broad cross section of industries, sectors and regions for our fourth Annual Business Reception at the East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf.

The evening was hosted by technology reporter and UK Digital Skills Taskforce Chair Maggie Philbin and we heard from Chuka Umunna, Ed Balls and Ed Miliband.

We also invited Crew of a Few Productions down from Manchester to make a short documentary about the evening. Crew of a Few Productions is one of many the small businesses that the Labour Party has engaged with over the past year. Please see their finished piece below.

Ed Miliband’s speech at the Inclusive Prosperity Conference

On Thursday 3 July, Ed Miliband, Ed Balls and Chuka Umunna were joined at the Policy Network's Inclusive Prosperity conference by over 500 members of the business community to discuss how together Britain can build a strong, sustainable and inclusive economy for the future - one where growth, innovation and higher skills are supported and promoted in helping to create well-paid jobs for all.

To read the Labour commissioned reports that were discussed, please click below:

To read a copy of Ed Miliband's keynote speech from last Thursday's conference, please click here.

Ed Balls' speech; Beyond the Third Way: A new inclusive prosperity for the 21st Century

To read the full text of Ed Balls’ speech which he delivered at the London Business School on Monday 30 June, please click here.

Brighton Small Business Consultation, 19 June 2014

On the 19 June 2014, we were joined by Toby Perkins MP, Lord Bassam of Brighton, Baroness Jones of Whitechurch and more than 50 business owners from the Brighton area.

The consultation was organised in association with the East Sussex branch of the FSB and was held at the Brighton and Hove Albion football club.

This was the fourth in a series of small business consultations that we have held around the country.

Agenda 2030 policy breakfast

On the 14 May we were joined by Chuka Umunna MP, Iain Wright MP for a discussion chaired by Seema Malhotra MP on Labour’s Agenda 2030

The panel was joined by representatives from a cross section of UK Industry and business for a frank discussion on this key policy area.

Agenda 2030 is Labour’s plan for better balanced growth to earn and grow our way to higher living standards through a high-productivity, high-skilled, innovation-led economy. For more information on it, please click here.

Ed Miliband's response to the budget

To read Ed Miliband’s response to the budget, please click here.

Ed Miliband's speech on Europe

In a speech delivered on 12 March 2014 at the London Business School, Ed Miliband set out Labour's lock- no transfer of power without an ‘in/out’ referendum on Europe. In his speech, Ed also outlined the EU reforms Labour will push for to make it work better for Britain.

Labour’s priority remains tackling the cost-of-living crisis and protecting the NHS, not a costly and damaging debate about leaving the European Union.

Labour will give a guarantee that no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in/out referendum. There are no proposals for a further transfer of powers to Brussels. But, given the uncertainty about the future of eurozone integration, although it’s unlikely it remains possible. Therefore the next Labour government will legislate for a lock that guarantees that there cannot be any transfer of powers from Britain to the European Union without an in/out referendum.
We will work for reform of the European Union to make it work better for Britain.  We need to focus on economic reform, making the European Union better support our prosperity and more of the money to be spent on public goods that help our economy grow, such as infrastructure, energy and innovation, as well as tackling crucial issues like youth unemployment.

The European Union needs to be far more focused on how we strengthen growth across Europe. We need to drive forward the completion of the single market in digital, energy and services. We are pleased to say the CBI has agreed to help develop proposals about how to complete the single market and make it easier for British firms to take advantage of the opportunities the single market provides. We should also use Europe’s strength to negotiate trade agreements with other parts of the world as well as moving as fast as possible towards securing the Trade and Investment Partnership between the EU and the US.

To read the full text of Ed Miliband’s speech, please click here.

Skills and Apprenticeship Policy Breakfast

On the 4 March we held a Skills and Apprenticeship policy breakfast here at Labour Party HQ.

The panel was made up of the Rt Hon Liam Byrne MP, Tristram Hunt MP and Maggie Philbin (CEO of TeenTech). We were also joined by representatives from over 80 businesses from across the UK for a frank discussion on Labour’s policy in this area and what more can be done to transform apprenticeships and deliver the high skills economy we need in order to grow our economy.

On the 3 March 2014 Labour’s independent Skills Taskforce published a report recommending major reforms to the 14-19 education system. The full report can be read here.

Croydon Small Business Consultation

On the 7 February 2014, we were joined by Steve Reed MP, Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP and more than 40 small business owners from the Croydon area.

The consultation was organised by the Croydon branch of the FSB and was held at Crystal Palace FC.

It was the third in a series of regional business consultations that the Party is holding all over the country. Our next Small Business Consultation will be taking place in Leeds on the 14 March 2014. For more information please email

Housing Policy Breakfast

On the 5 February 2014, Labour Shadow Ministers Rt Hon Hilary Benn, Emma Reynolds MP, and Iain Wright MP, were joined on the panel by Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman, of the Home Builders Federation who supported the event along with the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Brian Berry (CEO) of the FMB, opened the debate after speeches from the panel.

This was the third in a series of policy breakfasts at the Labour Party’s HQ designed to feed into Labour’s Policy Review and help the Party to shape its policies in a way that better supports the housing industry as well as delivering homes for hard working-families across the county.

One nation Economy – Ed Miliband’s speech at Senate house, London

To read the full text of Ed Miliband’s speech on One Nation Economy and on a banking system that works for small business, please click here.

Small Business Saturday 7 December 2013

Small Business Saturday took place on 7 December 2013 and was hailed as a great success. Consumers took to the high streets in droves as hundreds of small businesses offered flash sales and one-off promotions to reinforce the benefits of shopping locally.  Small Business Saturday was an initiative driven by the Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna.

Labour Party Annual Business Reception 2013

On the 17 July 2013, we held our 3rd Annual Business Reception. We were joined by more than a thousand guests from a wide range of sectors from across the UK.

This year’s Annual Business Reception will take place on the 22 July 2014 in London. To register your interest in attending, please email