Labour leader Ed Miliband called in on Daisy Group during a whistle stop tour of the North West, during which he attended the Labour Regional Conference in Blackpool.
He was welcomed to Daisy in Nelson by founder and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Riley, most recently recognised for his stint as an interviewer on Sir Alan Sugar’s ‘The Apprentice’.
After chatting briefly to several of the firm’s 1,500 employees, Miliband took a variety of questions from the floor during a Q&A session, attended by staff as well as members of a regional networking association, Downtown in Business.
Riley commented: “We were happy to welcome Mr Miliband to Daisy and be given the opportunity to involve staff in his visit to the North West. In these testing economic times, it was good to be able discuss some of the issues facing people both in business and in everyday life.”
Much of the discussion was focussed on growth in the economy, and Miliband faced questions about young people, education and unemployment.
He praised Daisy for the work it did to train its staff, and said: “I think it’s the kind of business practice that we’re seeing here that we actually need to see in other parts of our economy.
“We know we have to create long term wealth and the way we do that is by valuing the people in a company – that is the most important element.”
Another key topic covered was the Regional Growth Fund, introduced by the Conservative Government last year and publicly shunned by the Labour leader.
However, Riley welcomed the RGF, worth £1.4bn in all, and said that his firm would have benefited from similar financial help when it was established from his garage ten years ago.