Home Estate Planning Iceland boss and former Tory donor Richard Walker switches backing to Labour

Iceland boss and former Tory donor Richard Walker switches backing to Labour

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The executive chairman of Iceland supermarket has given his backing to Labour, saying the party was the “right choice” for business and voters.

Richard Walker, the executive chairman of the supermarket and a former Tory donor, quit the Conservative party last October in a blow to Rishi Sunak.

Now Mr Walker has switched his support to Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

Writing in The Guardian, he said: “Labour is the right choice for the communities across the country where Iceland operates – and the right choice for everyone in business who wants to see this country grow and prosper.”

The Iceland chairman praised Sir Keir for having “transformed” his party in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and said the Labour leader understands pressures facing households.

Sir Keir, Mr Walker wrote, “demonstrates a compassion and concern for the less fortunate that contrasts very favourably with the attitude of most of his opponents”.

“He absolutely gets it when I talk to him about the way that the cost of living crisis has put unbearable strain on the finances of so many of my customers and their families, and the urgent need for a government that does everything in its power to ease their burden.”

While Mr Walker said he would be supporting Labour at the next general election, he said he was not becoming a party member.

The Labour leader, who is set to visit a branch of Iceland later to meet staff and shoppers, welcomed the endorsement.

He said: “The work that he and his colleagues at Iceland have done to help customers through the cost of living crisis has been commendable.

“With Labour, shoppers and shop workers will get a fair deal. We’ll tackle the cost of living crisis, get Britain’s economy growing again and get our country’s future back.”

Dominic McGrath – PA

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