Business secretary Lord Mandelson launched a bitter attack yesterday on Richard Lambert the director of the CBI stating that he preferred to side with big time banks and was out of touch with SMEs.
The attack is the first argument that has occurred between the CBI and Mandelson who generally has a good relationship with the CBI. In turn, the CBI has been supportive of his work at bringing back UK manufacturing to its former glory.
The spat may mark a sign of deteriorating relations between business and Labour in the final days before the General Election occurs.
The rampage was triggered by post budget comments made by Lambert in which he said that plans for a ‘Credit Adjudicator’ were not going to work. The plan was aimed at creating a body that could intervene if companies found that banks were rejecting loan applications without significant reason.
Lambert said that the idea was dotty and will never actually happen because it is political nonsense.
Upon hearing his comments, Mandelson was furious and said that the view was a betrayal to SMEs that are receiving poor treatment from banks and need help before they are pushed in redundancy.
He continued to say that the indifference shown by Lambert was both shameful and shocking and that he is alone if his plan is to desert small businesses at a time when they need support. According to Mandelson the government is behind small businesses and is seeking the proper avenue for them to be heard.