Big business is back with a vengeance at this year’s Labour conference. Twelve months ago, in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Labour leader, the party’s gathering was largely shunned by corporate firms. The likes of Google - who had exhibited in 2015 - stayed well away. But in the wake of the party’s relative success at the general election - and with no sign of Corbyn going away any time soon - the companies are back. Google are among those exhibiting at the conference. Microsoft are here, too. And so are BP. But it seems like their efforts might have been in vain. While delegates crowded around stalls belonging to Unite, Momentum - and a stall with guide dogs, fewer people wanted to talk to the likes of BP, whose stall was deserted when Mr S paid a visit:
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It’s not only big firms exhibiting in the conference centre - they’re also shelling out on sponsoring events. Lloyds, MasterCard and BT are all hosting talks. And in something of an unlikely alliance, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell is speaking at an event this afternoon on business sponsored by the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Mr S would love to be a fly on the wall...