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Labour vows to be the most ‘pro-business government’ UK has ever seen

Labour’s “number one mission” is to grow the economy by being “more pro-business than Tony Blair”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.

The Leeds West MP said she believes her pro-business approach will be “the way to improve living ­standards and to achieve our potential” as a nation “by unlocking private business investment”.

Ms Reeves told the Times: “If I become chancellor, the next Labour government is going to be the most pro-business government this country has ever seen.

London Growth Plan announcement
Ms Reeves hinted that Labour would consider increasing workers’ rights (PA)

“I recognise that is different from the Labour parties that went into the last few general elections. But this is the best way to grow the economy and lift living standards.”

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Labour has major plans to revamp the business sector and boost the UK economy, including becoming the fastest-growing economy in the G7.

Ms Reeves said to achieve this, financial institutions and business groups would be welcomed and included by politicians in the rooms where the big decisions are made.

“We’re not going to grow the economy by having the best civil servants and the best ministers involved. We’re going to grow the economy by understanding business,” she said.

She also hinted that Labour would consider increasing workers’ rights, and The Times reported that an announcement could be made within weeks.

Such employment rights on the table may include offering employees rights from their first day of work and an end to all zero-hour contracts.

Giving workers such rights has prompted criticism by some business groups as inflexible and potentially counterproductive.

However, Ms Reeves said Labour intends to work with businesses to find an appropriate solution for all.

She said: “We’ve been out of power for 14 years. We want to make a difference. But we want all of our policies to work, and that means they’ve got to work for businesses and working people as well.

“Of course, we’ll consult. We’re doing that in opposition, and you can see that with the amount of time we put into the business engagement.”

“That always makes policy better when you do that.”

She said the consultative and business-friendly approach would be replicated across Whitehall, with ministers working with key leaders to cut through public sector red tape.