Sir Jim Ratcliffe: Keir Starmer will do ‘very good job’ as PM

19 May 2024, 14:04

Sir Jim Ratcliffe file photo
Sir Jim Ratcliffe file photo. Picture: PA

Sir Jim said the Conservatives have had ‘a good run’ but understands why people feel ‘it’s probably time for a change’.

Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has said he believes Keir Starmer will do a “very good job” as prime minister as he predicted a Labour election victory, but insisted he is willing to work with whichever party is in power.

Sir Jim is chairman of global chemicals company Ineos, which he founded in 1998, and became minority owner of football club Manchester United in February.

He told Sky News he had “no questions” Mr Starmer will do a “very good job at running the country”.

Labour visit to Essex
Sir Jim met with Mr Starmer at Old Trafford last weekend to discuss the redevelopment of the stadium (Victoria Jones/PA)

The businessman said: “There’s no question that the Conservatives have had a good run over the last 15, 20 years and I think most of the country feels it’s probably time for a change, and I sort of get that, really.”

Sir Jim met with the Labour leader at Old Trafford last weekend to discuss the redevelopment of the stadium.

Asked whether his company would donate to Labour, he said: “We’re apolitical at Ineos, we just want a successful manufacturing sector in the UK.

“We’ll talk to either Government about that.”

He blamed the Conservatives’ predicted defeat at the next general election on their implementation of Brexit, which he said “didn’t turn out how people anticipated”.

Sir Jim was a prominent backer of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in 2016.

He said the referendum “was largely about immigration”, as “vast numbers of people” coming into the country had overburdened the NHS and police.

The businessman also criticised the Tories over their handling of the economy, saying the country needed to “get a bit sharper on the business front” and needs “competitive energy”.

Sir Jim ranked fourth on the Sunday Times Rich List this week with a fortune of £23.5 billion, down two places from last year.

By Press Association