Adrian Beecroft criticises 'socialist' Vince Cable

 

A controversial Downing Street adviser has accused Business
Secretary Vince Cable of being a socialist who "appears to do very
little to support business".

Venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft, who wrote a report for No 10 calling for proposals making it easier to fire workers, said the Liberal Democrat's objections to his plans were "ideological not economic".

"I think he is a socialist who found a home in the Lib Dems, so he's one of the left," he told the Daily Telegraph.

"I think people find it very odd that he's in charge of business and yet appears to do very little to support business."

Mr Beecroft also attacked Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg for "always threatening to go nuclear" when he does not get his way.

The successful entrepreneur's report to Downing Street on employment laws exposed deep tensions in the Coalition.

The "compensated no-fault dismissal" scheme is the most divisive proposal in a report, which was published ahead of schedule after being leaked.

Mr Cable dismissed the idea as "complete nonsense" but many Conservatives backed the plans.

Mr Beecroft said the Conservatives are being "hugely held back by the Lib Dems".

He added: "I think you could put together a bunch of suggestions out of the report, as a coherent programme, that would say, you know, we are tackling the issues that business has with employment law but the Lib Dems will have none of it.

"Nick Clegg is always threatening to go nuclear and dissolve the whole thing if he doesn't get his way with this, that and the other.

"Which you'd think actually must be a hollow threat... Therefore, why can't the Government be more robust? I don't know what the answer is. But it is disappointing."

Mr Beecroft claims the British economy will grow by 5% less than expected, around £50 billion if the Government fails make radical reforms to employment laws.

He said senior Conservatives were initially behind his radical plans.

"I'm talking about Steve Hilton, that group and they assured me that David Cameron wanted to do the whole thing. Whether that's right or not I'm not sure but that was the strong impression I got.

"I've been in meetings with Oliver Letwin and Ed Davey, where Oliver Letwin was all for and Ed Davey was totally against."

Mr Beecroft's report calls for compensation to be capped at £12,000 for employees removed under the scheme, which he claims will make it more acceptable to workers and unions and eliminate many employment tribunal cases for constructive dismissal.

Tory MPs have suggested that the move would encourage businesses to hire workers by removing concerns that they may not be able to afford to get rid of under-performing staff.

But Mr Clegg publicly condemned the proposals yesterday telling the Sutton Trust conference on social mobility: "I don't support them and I never have. I've not seen any evidence that creating industrial-scale insecurity amongst millions of workers is a way of securing new jobs.

"So far, there's just no evidence that in the highly flexible labour market that we have, comparatively speaking, for instilling greater insecurity and let's be blunt, fear, amongst workers, at a time of great economic anxiety as a way of fostering new employment."

Downing Street has made clear that David Cameron has not dismissed the proposal out of hand.

A spokeswoman said the Prime Minister was weighing up options for making it easier for businesses to employ people and achieve growth, but was not "wedded" to any particular solution.

The document was commissioned by the Business Department and submitted in October, but it has been kept under wraps amid reports of friction between Tory and Lib Dem ministers.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP & MVC Frameworks

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing company in Belvedere ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior PHP Developer

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work in a sm...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders