Designers and creatives back Labour in open letter

Wayne Hemingway and architect Christophe Egret are among signatories of a letter backing the Labour Party for the next election, while business leaders including Lord Stuart Rose have come out in favour of the Tories.

Image by flickr user Les Haines
Image by flickr user Les Haines

Designer Wayne Hemingway and architect Christophe Egret are among signatories of an open letter in support of the Labour Party.

The letter, which has been published in the Guardian, comes after more than 100 business leaders signed a letter in the Telegraph backing the Conservative Party.

Labour says its letter shows how the party draws support from “all walks of life”. Alongside well-known figures including advertising creative Trevor Beattie and author Susie Orbach, the letter is also signed by people in business or on zero-hours contracts.

It reads: “We all care about Britain’s economy and we all have a stake in the future. 

We are all working people. Some of us run businesses, large and small. Some of us used to work on zero hours contracts, some of us still do. 

We come from all walks of life; this is what Britain looks like. 

We believe that the fundamental choice at this election is: who does this country work for? Does it work only for those at the very top or does it work for working people – those trying to make ends meet, working in British businesses across the country to create wealth and support their families? 

A symbol of the failure of this Government’s economic plan is the proliferation of zero hours contracts which has helped fuel the low wage, low skill economy that is letting down working people and letting down Britain. 

Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. We need a better plan for prosperity. We need a better plan and a better future. We need a Labour Government to put working people first.”

The letter supporting the Conservatives, meanwhile, is signed by business leaders including BP chief executive Bob Dudley, Prudential chief executive Tidjane Thiam and Ocado chairman Lord Stuart Rose. Other signatories include theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh and Dragons’ Den Star Duncan Bannatyne.

The letter reads: “We run some of the leading businesses in the UK. 

We believe this Conservative-led Government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation. 

David Cameron and George Osborne’s flagship policy of progressively lowering Corporation Tax to 20 per cent has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of their economic plan. 

The result is that Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85m new jobs. 

We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk.”

Ed Vaizey, the coalition government’s Culture Minister, had previously told Design Week that the Tories “take design seriously”, adding: “Our commitment to the design sector is clear… We can only continue to have a robust design sector with a strong economy and a long-term economic plan – something only the Conservatives can offer at the next general election.”

At a Creative Industries Federation event in February, Labour leader Ed Miliband said his party would put art and creativity “at the heart” of government if elected. Miliband added: “The importance of art and culture goes far beyond pounds and pence – it defines our character as a nation.”

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats told Design Week: “[We] will back the design industry and make sure the next generation of designers can keep Britain at the forefront of global design.” The party said that if elected it would protect education funding and promote apprenticeships and the Regional Growth Fund.

Green Party spokesman Martin Dobson told us the Greens would “help the design industry by helping the whole economy”, while UK Independence Party culture spokesman Peter Whittle told us UKIP “fully recognise and celebrate the importance of the design industry,  both in creative and commercial terms, and believe that it should be as free as possible to trade globally without the stifling and restrictive regulation which results from Britain’s membership of the EU.


You can see what all the major political parties are promising designers in our report here.

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Comments
  • Lennie Hedges April 4, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I really wish individuals would stop speaking for everyone else. I have been a designer for over 20 years and believe me, I certainly wouldn’t add my name to this letter. If they want to write a letter, do it from themselves, don’t speak for me please.

  • Melissa Hay April 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I totally agree with Lennie and please do not post that designers and creatives are backing labour…a select few may… but not all.

  • Ian Hirst April 7, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    You voting for the Tories then?

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