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Some of Britain’s biggest names on guest list for Labour business event

John Allan, the chairman of Tesco, will be among senior business leaders addressing a Labour Party business conference today.

Almost 400 senior business leaders, executives and lobbyists are expected to attend the day-long conference at Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands.

Labour politicians due to address them include Sir Keir Starmer, the party leader, Angela Rayner, his deputy, and Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor. Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, is also due to attend.

Justin King, former chief executive of J Sainsbury and a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer, Amanda Blanc, chief executive of the insurer Aviva, and Clare Barclay, chief executive of Microsoft UK, are also speaking at the event.

The seniority of those speaking at the conference is a further sign of the increasingly close links between big business and Labour, which has a 21-point lead over the Conservatives in the polls. The event has sold out, with a waiting list for those who wish to attend.

“This full-day event will bring together politicians and senior representatives from the world of business to discuss how we can work together to reboot our economy,” the programme states. The Canary Wharf event, also the venue for the 2023 Business Champion Awards, will include sessions on how to improve skills among the workforce and how to create long-term economic certainty.

Reeves will use the event to publish the findings of the party’s review of Britain’s start-up investment landscape and how to encourage capital from the likes of insurers and pension funds to back growth companies.

“The availability of that patient capital is much greater in the US, for example, than it is in the UK — I want to get that in all parts of Britain,” said Reeves.

The review, led by Lord O’Neill, is expected to focus on how towns and cities outside London will be crucial to the future of Britain’s start-up success.

HSBC, the FTSE 100 bank, SSE, the energy giant, and Canary Wharf Group are listed as sponsors of the event. Heathrow airport is also a sponsor and is hosting a drinks reception. Just Eat is sponsoring the lunch.

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