The Builders Merchants Federation was invited by Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, to join him and other Labour Party spokesmen at their State of the Economy conference at the Imperial College in London last weekend.
Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn MP, and John McDonnell outlined current Labour thinking and gave their economic and industrial outlook to a specially-invited business audience.
On being invited, Brett Amphlett, BMF policy and public affairs manager said: “Away from Westminster, Labour is still a force in politics and government. The elected mayors of London, Liverpool, Salford and Bristol are Labour, as is Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales. Thirteen of the 41 Police and Crime Commissioners are Labour. They also control significant local authorities, not all of which are in Northern England. Cambridge, Luton, Reading, Crawley, Hastings, Southampton and Plymouth are notable examples of Labour-controlled councils.”
For a number of years the BMF has enjoyed good relations with Labour since the Federation began attending all the Party Political Conferences in autumn 2009.
Since Christmas, the BMF has met with Labour representatives to discuss housing, small businesses, vocational training and taxation – and to explain the role, value and importance of merchants and the Federation itself. When lobbying Parliament this year, the BMF briefed Labour MP’s on several occasions – verbally and in writing – as MPs debated both the Housing & Planning Bill and the Enterprise Bill. Issues raised by the BMF included easing Change of Use Classes when granting planning permission for property conversation, and late payments and cash retentions in construction.