Former Tory donor John Caudwell backs Labour in General Election

18 June 2024, 20:50

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.
Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election. Picture: Alamy

By Lauren Lewis

Former Conservative Party donor John Caudwell has said he is backing Labour to win the General Election.

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In a statement Mr Caudwell said: "I can declare publicly that I will vote for Labour, and I encourage everybody to do the same.

"We need a very strong Labour Government that can take extremely bold decisions and you can rest assured that I will be doing my best to influence them wherever I can, in putting the great back in Britain."

Mr Caudwell added that he was "amazed by how Keir Starmer has transformed the Labour Party and brought it back from that Corbyn brink."

The founder of Phones4U has not confirmed whether he will donate to the Labour party.

Mr Caudwell was one of the biggest donors to the Tories ahead of the 2019 general election, when he gave half a million pounds to Boris Johnson's campaign.

Mr Caudwell was one of the biggest donors to the Tories ahead of the 2019 general election, when he gave half a million pounds to Boris Johnson's campaign.
Mr Caudwell was one of the biggest donors to the Tories ahead of the 2019 general election, when he gave half a million pounds to Boris Johnson's campaign. Picture: Alamy

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was "delighted" that Mr Caudwell had "thrown his support behind the changed Labour Party".

He said: "The message is clear: business backs change and economic stability with Labour, and rejects five more years of chaos and decline with the Tories.

"John was not just a Conservative voter but a substantial donor to the Conservative Party in 2019 - so it's not a decision that he will have taken lightly.

"But it's clear that he shares my plan for growth that I set out in the Labour manifesto.

"I'm campaigning non stop between now and 4 July to win the votes of other people who have backed the Tories in the past but see change with Labour as the best future for Britain."

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Mr Caudwell said he had supported the Conservatives for 51 years but had been "despairing" about their performance for many years.

He said: "Only five years ago, I donated half a million to the Conservatives to help avert the disaster that would have been Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.

"But I've been increasingly critical of Tory failures since then, particularly over Rishi's mismanagement of the economy during Covid, Boris' lowering of ethical standards and, of course, associated with that the accusation that Tory cronies benefited improperly regarding Covid PPE - and then the Liz Truss debacle.

"Over the last two years especially, I have been amazed by how Keir Starmer has transformed the Labour Party and brought it back from that Corbyn brink.

"As I have always said, the Government must be much more commercially minded to grow GDP in order to finance the public services that benefit all of society without increasing taxes.

"When Labour launched its manifesto last Thursday, I was delighted to see that accelerating economic growth was front and centre, and that projected growth is clearly tied into making Britain a clean energy superpower.

"So, I can declare publicly that I will vote for Labour, and I encourage everybody to do the same.

"We need a very strong Labour government that can take extremely bold decisions and you can rest assured that I will be doing my best to influence them wherever I can, in putting the great back in Britain."

John Caudwell: 'I think the Budget was totally lacking in inspiration...there's nothing in it at all.'

It comes after Mr Caudwell told LBC he was swaying towards backing Labour in an election following the Spring Budget in March.

Speaking on Tonight with Andrew Marr, Mr Caudwell said: "I think the Budget was totally lacking in inspiration and designed just to catch a few extra votes to try and reduce the desperate loss of seats the Tories are going to encounter.

"So, no, nothing at all, there's no growth in that budget at all to help Britain prosper, to develop green technologies in the UK and to make Britain a centre of excellence for incoming businesses that would help not only save the environment but grow a huge business within Britain to export abroad.

"I'm pretty cynical about all politicians to be honest, Andrew, Nobody seems to have the will or the intellectual capability to drive policies forward, to invest in Britain, and make Britain great for the future.

"We're tinkering about with tax cuts here, freezing thresholds there, giving a bit there, and it's preposterous because we desperately need the inward investment with really high paid industries where working people can enjoy a greater income."

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