Cooper in promise to back business

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YVETTE Cooper has distanced herself from the mistakes of Labour’s past as she prepares for a leadership battle ahead.

Pontefract MP Mrs Cooper, thought to have the backing of at least 35 MPs, is gearing up for a lengthy Labour leadership contest set to see candidates take to the country this summer seeking votes.

The Yorkshire candidate yesterday conceded that Labour should not have ran up as big a deficit before the economic crash in 2008, and hinted she could review the Mansion Tax policy which saw her party target the rich in the last General Election.

Mrs Cooper said she thought it had been a mistake of Labour’s then leader Mr Miliband to divide businesses into “predators and producers”, saying he had allowed the party to appear to be “anti-business, anti-growth and ultimately anti-worker”.

Mrs Cooper used a BBC Radio 4 interview to make clear the party leadership had made mistakes.

She said she would “reset” Labour’s relationship with business - dropping the party’s opposition to the Government’s recent corporation tax cut and promising to set up a business advisory group which she would consult regularly.

“Labour has to show we want to build businesses up not knock them down. We need to reset our relationship with business around a shared vision for building an economy that faces the future,” she said in a briefing note to journalists.

“Too often in the past our rhetoric undermined that positive relationship with business, and with the creation of jobs and wealth for the future.

“People knew how we wanted to stop exploitation in the workplace, but not how we’d grow workplaces.”