trade minister

In the run-up to the general election George Osborne scored a big propaganda coup by enlisting the names of scores of business leaders in a letter criticising Gordon Brown’s planned rise in National Insurance.

(No matter that in Osborne’s subsequent Budget VAT went up by a similar amount to help plug the fiscal hole).

For Labour that stung; not least because some of the figures had sat at various times on its own advisory boards. David Miliband has since said, on several occasions, that he never wants Labour to enter a general election campaign with no business support. Read more

We wrote this morning that David Cameron’s attempts to lure a trade minister from the private sector have so far fallen on stony ground.

We revealed that those who have said “no, thank you” include Sir John Rose, chief executive of Rolls-Royce, and Mervyn Davies (pictured), former chairman of Standard Chartered, who was trade minister under Labour. Read more