Anneliese Dodds offers new partnership between Labour and business

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds is to hold out the prospect of a new partnership between business and a Labour government, insisting the party can be trusted with the nation’s finances.

In a keynote speech to the party’s online conference, Ms Dodds will set out a three-step plan to rebuild the economy following the coronavirus pandemic.

She will also launch an attack on the Government’s “financial mismanagement” during the Covid-19 crisis, accusing the Tories of squandering billions of pounds of public money.

Her address comes after Sir Keir Starmer made clear his priority was to regain the political centre ground, targeting voters who had deserted the party or who had never voted Labour in the first place.


However there was a sharp warning from the Unite general secretary Len McCluskey – a close ally of former leader Jeremy Corbyn – to Sir Keir that he could “steer the ship on to the rocks” if he tried to ignore the Labour left.

In her speech, Ms Dodds will say that a Labour government would seek to restore trust with business, emphasising the “critical role” it played in creating jobs and supporting livelihoods.

“Government working hand in hand with business and trade unions, in the best interests of our country,” she is expected to say.

“This is an ambitious Labour vision – where security and fairness aren’t just aspirations, but where they are a reality for families and communities across our country.

“As chancellor, I would restore that trust with business because I understand what a critical role business plays in creating jobs and supporting livelihoods across the country.”


Ms Dodds will say that her three-step economic plan would be built around the principles of “recover jobs, retrain workers and rebuild business”.

A Labour government, she will say, would continue to help subsidise the wages of workers in key sectors in a way which would enable firms to bring back more staff on reduced hours.

In addition, there would be a national retraining strategy for those workers who had lost their jobs and a business rebuilding programme to support struggling but viable firms.

Ms Dodds will also attack Chancellor Rishi Sunak for his “cavalier” approach to public money, handing over large sums to support businesses with “no strings attached”.

She will seek to contrast his record as a former hedge fund manager with her own “responsible approach to the national finances”.

“I’ve never missed an opportunity to confront financial mismanagement. I’ve spent my political career fighting international money laundering and tax evasion,” she is expected to say.

“While the Chancellor was profiting from a financial system that took huge risks and then passed them on to ordinary people, I helped to rein it in.”

Sir Keir will deliver his keynote speech to the Labour Connected event – which replaces the party’s annual conference which was cancelled due to the pandemic – on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Mr Corbyn is set to address an online rally of the Socialist Campaign Group on Monday evening in his first major public appearance since the party’s general election defeat in December.

Earlier Mr McCluskey warned Sir Keir that he would face “trouble” if he tried to abandon the “progressive, ambitious alternatives” the party had developed under Mr Corbyn.

“He needs to listen to the left because without the left within our movement, Keir will, I’m afraid, steer the ship on to the rocks and I don’t think he’ll do that,” he told Sky News.