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EY UK managing partner signs ‘anti-business’ Labour letter

EY’S UK MANAGING PARTNER is among around 100 signatories to have put their name to a letter condemning Labour’s election platform as “anti-business”, effectively endorsing the Conservatives.

Steve Varley signed the letter alongside some of the most eminent executives in the FTSE 100 and retail, condemning Labour’s position on tax and business as one that “threatens Britain’s recovery”.

“We run some of Britain’s leading businesses,” the letter read. “We believe this Conservative government has been good for business, and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation.

“David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering corporation tax to 20% has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of the economic plan. The result is Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85 million jobs. We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment,” it said.

Each of the signatories’ names were published on the front page of today’s Telegraph. Duncan Bannatyne and Prudential CEO Tidjane Thiam are among Varley’s fellow signatories.

EY confirmed Varley had signed the letter in a “personal capacity”.

The Conservatives heralded the news as “unprecedented”, while Labour said it was “no surprise” major bosses are seeking lower taxes. Instead, Labour turned its attentions to greater rights for those on zero-hours contracts.

EY’s last recorded political donation came in 2010 according to the Electoral Commission, when it gave £15,000 worth of staffing services to the Conservatives as the party was seeking office. No similar donation has been noted since.

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