Business News

New Business Council aims to shape UK economy ahead of election

BCC launches new council to rival CBI

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has launched a new Business Council that could challenge the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as the voice of British business. The council, which consists of some of the UK’s largest companies, held its first meeting on Thursday morning at the House of Lords. The meeting was chaired by Martha Lane Fox, president of the BCC and co-founder of

The council aims to design and drive the future of the British economy, and to produce a Business Manifesto to distribute to the UK’s political parties before the next general election. The manifesto will focus on themes such as “people and work”, “digital revolution”, “green innovation”, “global Britain” and “local economy of the future”.

CBI in crisis amid allegations of misconduct

The launch of the new council comes weeks after the CBI was plunged into crisis in a scandal over allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct by men at the organisation, including two women who alleged they were raped by colleagues. The Guardian published a series of accounts of more than a dozen women who claimed they were the victims of sexual misconduct by men at the CBI.

Business Council aims to shape UK economy ahead of election

Many prominent companies quit the CBI or suspended engagement with the group in April, following the revelations. The CBI is also reportedly at risk of insolvency, and its pension scheme may be an obstacle to a potential merger with Make UK, the manufacturers’ body.

Business leaders and politicians attend council meeting

The BCC’s Business Council boasts some of the UK’s most influential business leaders as its founder members, including Heathrow, BP, IHG Hotels & Resorts and Drax. The BCC has about 100,000 members and operates through a network of 53 independent chambers all over the UK.

The council meeting was attended by Michael Gove, the secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor. They discussed the role that business can play in shaping the UK’s economic recovery and future prosperity.

Lane Fox said that the meeting was “a really interesting meeting with lots of different people represented and, as we know, a very business agenda to talk about right now”. She added that the council will seek to engage with all political parties and stakeholders to ensure that business is at the heart of policymaking.

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