Business secretary Vince Cable has spoken of his sympathy for the cause of the Occupy London Stock Exchange (LSX) protesters.
Cable said he had “sympathy with the emotions that lie behind” the anti-capitalist demonstration, adding that there was a feeling a small number of people had done “extraordinarily well” during the economic downturn.
Speaking on the BBC’s Politics Show, Cable said: “Some of their recommendations aren’t terribly helpful, but that’s not the point,” he said.
Cable added: “I think it does reflect a feeling that a small number of people have done extraordinarily well in the crisis, often undeservedly, and large numbers of other people who’ve played no part in causing the crisis have been hurt by it.”
Demonstrators from Occupy LSX first set up tents outside St Paul’s Cathedral on October 15. The cathedral closed its doors to the public for a week as a result of the protest.
The protest has been criticised by prime minister David Cameron, who said putting up tents in the centre of a city was not a “particularly constructive” way to protest.
Cameron told the House of Commons Liaison Committee that he had the “rather quaint view” that members of the public “shouldn’t be able to erect tents all over the place”. He added: “Protesting, you should do on two feet, rather than lying down – in some cases in a fairly comatose state.”
Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, said the demonstrators reflect a “crisis of concern” in mainstream Britain. He said it should be addressed by the business community, the Church of England and politicians.
Those camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral have “a long list of diverse and often impractical proposals”, Miliband wrote in the Observer last week, adding that lots of people would not agree with their methods or demands.
“But they still present a challenge to the church and to business – and also to politics,” Miliband went on. “The challenge is that they reflect a crisis of concern for millions of people about the biggest issue of our time: the gap between their values and the way our country is run.”
The Occupy LSX protest plunged the Cathedral hierarchy into turmoil as it looked for a way to respond. The canon chancellor, the dean and the part-time chaplain of St Paul’s have all resigned in recent weeks.