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Retail leaders back Tory corporation tax policy

Fashion retail bosses including Arcadia chairman Sir Philip Green and Shop Direct chief executive Alex Baldock have signed a letter in support of the Conservative party’s corporation tax policy.

“David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering corporation tax to 20% has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of their economic plan,” said the letter, published in The Telegraph.

Among the signatories were Asos.com chief executive Nick Robertson, Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin and Blue Inc chief executive Steven Cohen.

In all, 103 senior executives from companies that employ more than half a million people combined said they believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment.

Explaining why he signed the letter, Robertson said: “The Conservative policy for tax is good for business. We’re an international business that could look at relocating abroad [for tax reasons], but it doesn’t even factor into our thinking. It’s good for the UK economy and good for jobs.”

Other retail names on the list include LK Bennett executive chairman Robert Bensoussan, Kurt Geiger chief executive Neil Clifford, concessions business Hallett Retail managing director Wendy Hallett, accessories brand founder Anya Hindmarch, interim chief executive at Derek Lovelock, former Marks & Spencer chief executive Lord Stuart Rose, The White Company founder Chrissie Rucker and her husband Charles Tyrwhitt founder Nick Wheeler.

Earlier today, Labour said it would ban “exploitative zero-hour contracts”, raise the national minimum wage to more than £8 before 2020 and make it illegal to use agency workers to undercut wages of permanent employees.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said his government, if elected, would guarantee zero-hour workers the right to a formal contract after 12 weeks of regular work.

Last week Sports Direct revealed that almost 15,000 of its UK employees, or 75% of its workforce, are on zero-hour contracts.

@Tara_Hounslea

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