SME4labour organised a roundtable meeting involving MPs Chuka Umunna and Bill Esterson, attended by an audience of small and medium business owners. It was hosted in Committee Room 19 at the House of Commons and kindly chaired by Ibrahim Dogus.
Chuka Umunna opened by firmly restating Labour’s commitment to being the party of small business, demonstrated under the last leadership. Chuka brought up his own family connection to the cause, his father having run a market stall, and related several times to the experiences of business owners on Streatham High Road in his constituency. Chuka made a three-point analysis of Labour’s relationship with SMEs. The first was that Labour, being the party of the working labour, had to be back ‘full-throttle’ the business that provide the majority of private sector work in the country. Secondly, SMEs provide high streets and communities with their unique character, so support for them is a fundamental part of Labour’s communitarian values. Finally, he pointed out that setting up a business is an act of challenging the market establishment – and Labour is very much about challenging the establishment!