Wednesday 21 February 2018

Tullow's Aidan Heavey backs Tory government

Aidan Heavey, chief executive of Tullow Oil. Photo: Bloomberg News
Aidan Heavey, chief executive of Tullow Oil. Photo: Bloomberg News

Paul O'Donoghue

The CEO of Irish-listed oil and gas explorer Tullow Oil is one of over 100 business bosses who have publicly backed British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative-led government.

Aidan Heavey, the head of the Irish-founded company, was one of those who signed an open letter published in the 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper warning that a change of course for Britain's economy under a Labour government would put the country's recovery at risk.

Among the 103 signatories were BP CEO Bob Dudley, the boss of Arcadia retail group Philip Green and Ted Baker founder and CEO Ray Kelvin.

They said: "We believe this Conservative-led Government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation. We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk."

Labour, whose relationship with business is fraught with tensions over policies which promise tighter regulation for big businesses, dismissed the letter as "nothing new".

"No one will be surprised that some business people are calling for low taxes for big businesses," said Labour's business spokesman, Chuka Umunna.

In total the company bosses who signed the letter employ more than half a million people.

The closest British election in a generation has flummoxed seasoned politicians and financiers who are poring over polls and Westminster seat predictions to see who might rule.

Opinion polls ahead of the May 7 election indicate neither Cameron's Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party will win an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament as millions of voters turn to once marginal parties.

It is a highly unusual situation for Britain, which has had just one formal coalition government elected since the end of World War II.

In the run-up to the 2010 election, 23 business leaders backed the Conservatives in a similar letter.

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