A LABOUR frontbencher was slammed last night after describing business as “the enemy”.
Sir Keir Starmer is under pressure to ditch his shadow tourism minister Alex Sobel who said he only talks to business people because of climate change.
The MP for Leeds North West told a podcast that when he first came into office he would refuse to meet with any firms.
And he said he only speaks to them now to get them to go green and become eco-friendly before it’s too late.
The MP, who is also a backer of the hardcore climate extremists Extinction Rebellion, said: “When I first became an MP, I was like, I am not taking meetings with any of these people.
“These people are the enemy, you know.”
He said that as a socialist, his “job is to transform society” and tear up “global corporations which have all this power”.
But he was forced to suck up his views sit down at the table with them because “we haven’t got enough time” to save the planet and reinvent the economy at the same time.
Speaking to podcaster Simon Moore, Mr Sobel added: “That is still my dream, but we haven’t got time to do that and save the climate.”
But Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng lashed out at the controversial comments, saying: “Attacking business is straight out of the Corbyn playbook.”
The Tory Cabinet Minister told HOAR: “Businesses aren’t the enemy – they’re good for society. They create jobs, support livelihoods and generate the tax revenue that funds our NHS, police and schools.
“Sir Keir should show some leadership, call off the attacks and distance himself from these comments.”
And ex-Labour MP Lord Austin added: “Keir Starmer is trying to drag the Labour Party back to common-sense but keeps being undermined by this sort of silly infantile nonsense most people grow out of as teenagers.”
Labour sources said Mr Sobel no longer held the views about business and had moved on.
A Labour spokesperson said last night: “Combining the power of government and business will be crucial to Britain’s future, whether that is tackling climate change or creating new jobs across the country.
“That’s why we oppose Tory tax hikes on business in the middle of the pandemic.”
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