Tycoon calls on Coalition to be united in support of firms

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The Independent Online

Michael Spencer, one of the City's biggest tycoons and a leading Conservative Party donor, has called on the Government to throw its weight more firmly behind business on the eve of the Autumn Statement.

"Partly there is a tone issue," the founder of brokerage Icap said. "I think the Government could do more to be more positively constructive about business, enterprise and investment.

"It needs to deliver on its rhetoric in terms of making the burdens of doing business more straightforward, something they talk a hell of a lot about.

Mr Spencer, pictured, whose wealth is measured at more than £500m, is good friends with George Osborne and was once Tory party treasurer, but his frustration at the pace of change is clear.

"The Coalition has been very much like a three-legged race where (David) Cameron and (Nick) Clegg have had their legs tied together," he said. "I think that has deeply hampered decision making."

Icap is preparing for its 20th charity day tomorrow. The event, in which the company donates its revenues for one day as well as traders contributing their commissions, raised nearly £13m a year ago.

Mr Spencer hopes the day will provide relief for the City, which is still suffering from a low reputation with the public, a tense relationship with politicians and uncertainty from the Continent. He said: "Confidence levels are extremely low and it will take some while for them to recover."