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Rachel Reeves Backed by Leading Businesswomen as First Female Chancellor

Letter states bosses appreciate Reeves’ commitment to a genuine plan for economic growth.
More than a dozen notable UK businesswomen have signed a letter congratulating Labour’s Rachel Reeves as the first female chancellor of the exchequer. They believe it will provide a fresh perspective to economic planning.

In another reward for Reeves and Keir Starmer’s protracted attempts to woo companies and the City, the various chief executives and founders said they had all seen the shadow chancellor and “appreciated her openness to business, and her commitment to a genuine plan for economic growth”.

A letter signed by 121 business executives, published in the Times immediately after the election, endorsed Labour’s economic proposals and advocated for a change in central government.

Reeves stated in a speech to a business audience that if Labour is elected, she will run the most “pro-growth” Treasury in UK history and “return to the centre ground of politics” by balancing workers’ needs and corporate interests.

The most recent letter was signed by 13 leading businesswomen, all of whom were acting in their own capacity rather than on behalf of their companies. They include Jo Whitfield, CEO of the retail firm Matalan, and Nicola Mendelsohn, Global Business Group Head for the tech behemoth Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Other signatories include Janette Bell, managing director of First Bus; Faeth Birch, chief executive of FGS Global’s UK, Middle East, and Asia divisions; Irene Hays, chair and owner of Hays Travel; and Karen Blackett, former UK president of WPP.

According to the letter, the signatories have witnessed “incredible progress for women, in business, politics, and throughout society.” It adds: “There are, nevertheless, significant inadequacies in the domain of economic policymaking. There has yet been no female governor of the Bank of England or permanent secretary to the Treasury. Damnably, the position of chancellor of the exchequer has existed for over 800 years, and all of them have been men.

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