John Longworth quits as business group boss after Brexit support row


John Longworth has resigned as the director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) following the controversy over his support for a British exit from the European Union.

The BCC, one of the UK's biggest business organisations, has officially adopted a neutral position ahead of the June 23 EU referendum and Mr Longworth accepted his personal views were "likely to create confusion", the group's president Nora Senior said.

She insisted that "no politician or interest group" had any influence on the initial decision of the BCC's board to suspend Mr Longworth and there were "no external factors" in his subsequent decision to quit.

Downing Street has strenuously denied putting pressure on the BCC to act following Mr Longworth's comments at the group's annual conference on Thursday.