I was extremely proud to host an energising Labour Business Conference this month. Thank you business leaders from across many sectors who shared their time and expertise. Labour and business together can build the prosperous, dynamic economy Britain deserves. We will get our economy growing again with my long term industrial strategy, business rates reform, apprenticeship levy reform, and legislation on late payments. The Labour Party is truly back in business and it has been a pleasure to work hard to further this agenda this year.

I very much enjoyed visiting Octopus Energy this week. Octopus are one of the most forward thinking energy companies and have been vocal advocates of better energy policies, particularly the need to overturn the short-sighted Conservative ban on onshore wind. The crucial thing is they offer customers incentives to take advantage of cheap, home-made, low-carbon electricity through tariffs that let you do things like charge an electric vehicle more cheaply overnight and ‘power hours’ when electricity is free. They’re now active all over the world with over 3.5 million customers – a real British success story. It was great to meet CEO Greg Jackson and the team.

I also had a really important meeting with Miguel Berger, German Ambassador to the UK. It’s great that key international trading partners want to learn about Labour’s industrial strategy and opportunities for economic cooperation under a Labour Government. Our wide ranging discussion covered Ukraine, energy security, skills planning and more.

It was also great to speak to BBC Breakfast about Small Business Saturday, and to visit Slattery in Bury on the day, as well as Lymefield in Broadbottom. Additionally, I spoke at the tenth anniversary reception for Small Business Saturday, a great innovation which has now given small businesses a much needed boost in recognition for a decade.

Of course, much of my time has been spent talking to business and workers affected by widespread strikes this month. It is wrong for the Government to stigmatise striking workers while making no material effort to make progress on their terms and conditions. No-one wants to strike, and there a few easy answers with the current economic outlook, but it is cowardice to shame public servants and others while failing to show any leadership or desire for resolution at all – simple cowardice.

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