A wicked war of words has been waged.. and we’re watching it all
It was probably the most hardline criticism of Labour that we’ve seen from big business.
Acting CEO and chairman of Boots, Stefano Pessina, told the Sunday Telegraph that a Labour government would be a “catastrophe”.
Speaking surprisingly damningly for such a senior business leader in the run-up to a general election, Pessina said Miliband’s plans are “not helpful for business, not helpful for the country and in the end it probably won’t be helpful for them”.
But the Labour leader has fought back.
He’s cannily pointed out that Pessina lives in Monaco and doesn’t pay British taxes.
He also hinted at tax avoidance by the company.
Miliband told Sky News’ Stand Up Be Counted programme: “There is nothing that annoys people more than tax avoidance by big companies.
“Firstly, we have to act internationally, because that is the best way of clamping down on this. We also have to be willing to act on our own.
“Denmark and others do a much better job of clamping down on tax avoidance by big firms.
“Yesterday, the chairman of Boots [Stefano Pessina] started telling people how to vote in the General Election.
“The chairman of Boots lives in Monaco and doesn’t pay British taxes.
“I don’t think people should take kindly to being told how to vote by someone who avoids paying his taxes.”
Miliband echoed Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna, who made similar comments on Monday morning following Pessina’s interview being published.