WPP head Sir Martin Sorrell has waded into a political row surrounding the business credentials of the Labour party ahead of May’s General Election by warning that the Conservative’s EU referendum plan also risks knocking business confidence.
Labour’s Ed Miliband has come under fire for failing to woo business leaders ahead of the crunch vote but Sorrell warns that the potential for a British exit from Europe is equally damaging, leaving economy-focussed voters in a quandary as to which party to lend their cross.
As an ally of Cameron, Sorrell’s concerns carry more clout as he voiced his dilemma to the Guardian: “From an electoral point of view, Ed Miliband clearly believes bashing business is good for the ballot box and will benefit him.
“It’s a conundrum for business. Labour won’t have a referendum but you might have a regime that is more negative to business, and a referendum makes a Conservative vote that much more difficult.”
Sorrell’s nuanced reading of the electoral battlefield comes despite his previous support for the Conservative-led government, chiefly by returning WPP’s headquarters to the UK after Chancellor George Osborne scrapped rules introduced by Labour which restricted the use of offshore subsidiaries to reduce tax liabilities.