Business leaders turn on Miliband critic Sunak

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Business leaders turn on Miliband critic Sunak

In 2015, business leaders have turned on Rishi Sunak, a critic of the prime minister's plans to roll back net zero policies.

Some of Britain's top entrepreneurs have said the plans have caused uncertainty for business, reduced the country's international standing and punished investors who made early decisions on net zero based on the original timeline.

During the 2015 general election campaign, 103 business leaders wrote to the Daily Telegraph to criticise Miliband's plans to scrap zero-hours contracts and reverse a cut to corporation tax.

However, some members of the business community are increasingly frustrated with Conservatives policies such as Sunak's plans to delay the 2030 deadline for all new cars to be electric and the phase-out on installation of gas boilers by 2035, drop energy efficiency targets for landlords, and mooted proposals to scrap the Manchester leg of HS2.

Leaders including a dragon from BBC One's Dragon's Den, a billionaire insurance mogul and the former chief executive of Boots said the plans to roll back green measures were flawed. All had signed the letter in 2015 to the Telegraph.

The co-founder of the cybersecurity platform ThreatAware and the founder of the consultancy firm Ebiquity, Sarah Jane Thomson, said she was 'fully taken aback' by the news.

Thomson said the optics of Sunak's decision in terms of Britain's climate goals were less than encouraging.

Nick Jenkins, the founder of greetings card company Moonpig and a Dragon on Dragons Den, said: 'I was disappointed that the government chose to push back the deadlines. Removing from fossil fuels necessitates long-term planning and reliability. When deadlines are changed, it's unhelpful.

Jenkins said the rhetoric surrounding costs to families was flawed, since the expense of not acting on the environment would prove far greater.

s comments are unhelpful and position him behind the business community, many members of which view net zero as a growth opportunity rather than a cost.

Julietta Dexter, a co-founder of the Communications company ScienceMagic, said: His speech sent the wrong signals. If there was a real, tangible reason to push out the goals, then tell us what it is. With respect to the federal government, responsible business is on a path to net zero.

Peter Cullum, a billionaire insurance tycoon, said scrapping the Manchester leg of HS2 would be a flawed decision. Cullum, an assistant professor at the university's School of Engineering, said he was stunned by the reaction of many of the engineers.

A prominent Tory donor has also said that the party did not deserve to win the next election, weeks after he donated more than 5,000 pounds to Labour. Lord Harris of Peckham, founder of Carpetright, said he lost faith in the conservatives.