Conservative Diary

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Another thirty senior business leaders back the Conservatives on national insurance

Last week saw 37 leading businessmen backing the Conservative position in opposing Labour's rise in national insurance. 

At today's PMQs, David Cameron said that a further 30 business leaders had today added their support to the message that original letter which stated that the rise in NICs was "an additional tax on jobs" and that "stopping the national insurance rise will protect jobs and support the recovery".

It is good to see further momentum gathering behind the position which David Cameron and George Osborne have consistently backed; Transport Secretary Lord Adonis was certainly squirming on the Daily Politics earlier when he was unable to answer Andrew Neil and name one person running a leading FTSE company who backed the Government's position. As PoliticsHome reported, he desperately prayed in aid the name of Labour peer Lord Sugar.

The full list of the latest backers of the Conservative line is as follows:

  1. Kirby Adams, Chief Executive, Corus
  2. Surinder Arora, Chairman, Arora International Hotels (Sofitel)
  3. Stefan Barden, Chief Executive, Northern Foods
  4. Robert Bensoussan, Executive Chairman, LKBennett
  5. Simon Blagden, Chairman, Fujitsu Telecommunications (Europe)
  6. Tony Brown, Chief Executive, Beales
  7. Chris Dawson, Founder and Managing Director, The Range
  8. Sir John Egan
  9. Ralph Findlay, Chief Executive, Marston's plc
  10. Stephen Goodyear, Chief Executive, Young & Co's Brewery PLC
  11. Anthony Habgood, Chairman, Reed Elsevier
  12. Andy Harrison, Chief Executive, easyJet
  13. Peter Harrison, Chief Executive, Furniture Village
  14. Grant Hearn, Chief Executive, Travelodge
  15. Peter Hindle, Chief Executive, Jewson
  16. Neil Hornby, Chairman, Hornby plc  and  Umeco plc
  17. Luke Johnson, Founder of Risk Capital Partners and Chairman of Royal Society of Arts
  18. John King, Chief Executive, House of Fraser
  19. Richard Kirk, Chief Executive, The Peacock Group
  20. Simon Lockett, Chief Executive, Premier Oil Plc
  21. Rick Medlock, CFO, Inmarsat Plc
  22. Mike Norris, Chief Executive, Computacenter
  23. Tony Pidgeley,  Group Chairman, Berkeley Group Holdings Plc
  24. Jamie Ritblat, Chief Executive, Delancey
  25. Nick Robertson, Chief Executive, ASOS
  26. Tim Steiner, Chief Executive, Ocado
  27. Michael Turner, Chief Executive, Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C
  28. Tom Wells, Chairman, Charles Wells Ltd and Muntons plc
  29. Nick Wheeler, Founder, Charles Tyrwhitt
  30. Bob Wigley, Chairman of Sovereign Reversions plc

4pm Thursday update:

A further thirteen business leaders have today added their names to the letter.

They are:

  1. Mark Allen, Chief Executive, Dairy Crest Group plc
  2. Robert Hiscox, Chairman, Hiscox Ltd
  3. Mark Robertshaw, Group Chief Executive, The Morgan Crucible Company PLC
  4. David Tyler, Chairman, Logica plc
  5. Hossein Yassaie, Chief Executive, Imagination Technologies Group Plc
  6. Archie Norman, Chairman, Aurigo Management Partners LLP
  7. Charlie Mullins, Managing Director, Pimlico Plumbers Ltd
  8. Chrissie Rucker, Founder, The White Company
  9. Peter Cullum, Executive Chairman, Towergate Partnership
  10. Richard Baker, Chairman, Virgin Active plc
  11. James Kilbane, Chairman, Grafton Recruitment 
  12. Stephen Bourne, Chief Executive, Cambridge University Press
  13. David Cam, Director, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

That now brings the total tally to 81 signatories and comes as Labour have continued to claim - as did the Prime Minister on the Today Programme this morning - that they have been deceived by the Conservative Party, whilst Lord Mandelson dismissed these figures as “metropolitan-based” Chief Executives.

Jonathan Isaby


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