Cameron surrounds himself with business leaders

By Ian Dunt

David Cameron has added to the list of businessmen advising him on policy.

Andy Street, John Lewis managing director, and Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica, will be joining the panel of business leaders.

Two of Gordon Brown’s advisers – Andrew Witty of controversial pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and Paul Walsh of drinks company Diageo – have also joined the new prime minister.

November will see the first meeting of the group, which includes nearly 20 figures.

The coalition government is relying on a private sector recovery to create economic optimism by the time of the next general election.

Mr Cameron will be eager to receive regular updates from business to discover if Treasury policy, such as the cutting of corporation tax, is having the desired effect on employment.

The figures may also seek reassurance on the heated words coming from business secretary Vince Cable who recently attacked capitalism as a system that “takes no prisners”.