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Big companies are back at the workers conference with the biggest show since 2010.labor convention

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The Labor Party has attracted big business interest at a conference in Liverpool, with the largest business attendance since 2010.

Keir Sturmer and Rachel Reeves were among senior politicians to speak at a reception attended by more than 600 business leaders, executives and international guests on Monday night.

Business interest in the conference has increased significantly as the party continues to perform well in the polls and bookmakers are putting in the odds for starmers to win the next election, labor sources said.

One of the companies exhibiting products at the conference is Wright Buses, owned by Tory donor Joe Bamford, which is showcasing hydrogen buses at both Labor and Conservative events this year. .

The main exhibition hall featured stalls such as Sainsbury’s, Google, Lloyds Banking and energy giant E.ON, and people were queuing out the door to enter the business reception. The Workers’ Business Forum is where companies pay to attend events attended by shadow ministers and officials, and in July he sold out with more than 90 companies attending, eventually selling out to two. I was flooded with one-to-one applications.

Sturmer, Reeves, Shadow Chancellor. Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds. Shadow Foreign Minister David Lammy and all spoke at a Bloomberg-sponsored reception for businesses, ambassadors and international visitors.

There has been a significant increase in engagement from companies this year, according to senior worker sources. “They are wholeheartedly encouraged to see a sensible, functioning opposition party. The majority are not political parties, but are relieved to have adults in the room,” the source said.

“They have welcomed engagement from the Labor Party that they haven’t had in quite some time before. increase.”

Sturmer and Reeves have also held breakfasts, dinners and other events over the last year with chairmen, chief executives and industry associations as part of a concerted effort to reach out to businesses. They also plan to hold a business conference later this year, with proposals centering on policies such as reviewing business fees, boosting growth, investing billions in green energy and fiscal responsibility.

A city public relations expert who was recently close to the Conservatives said their company had come to the workers’ conference “for the first time in history” because it was “the time to listen to the workers”. The number of parties held by lobbying companies also seems to be on the rise.

Party donations, with the help of Tony Blair’s former fundraiser, Lord Levy, are increasingly coming from corporate as well as traditional union donors. Investor and businessman Trevor Chin and Sir Victor Blank, former chairman of Lloyd’s Banking Group and donor during the days of New Labor and Miliband, have funded Starmer since he became leader. came back to The party also received her £250,000 this year from Fran Perrin, 43, daughter of Lord Sainsbury of Turville, a member of the Supermarket dynasty.

Labor leadership sees business interest in the conference as a good sign, but not everyone is happy about the increased corporate presence at the four-day event in Liverpool.

A Momentum spokeswoman said the company did not show that it was on the workers’ side. “While attacking trade union rights, Labor needs to show that they are on the side of the workers as the Tories are siphoning money off the rich at the expense of the rest of us.

“Thus, Labor leadership’s ban on picket line visits to workers fighting for a living in a cost-of-living crisis and instead hobnobbing in meetings with the big business elites is an understatement. It’s disappointing and self-defeating. Labor was founded to defend the interests of workers, not business, and that should be our guiding mission.”

A labor official said:
That doesn’t necessarily mean we always agree, but the important thing is
The problem is that we are working to understand their point of view. ”

The Tory and Labor parties have been criticized in the past for charging companies to attend meetings accessible to influential politicians.