But is it a set-up?
The CBI says it invited Mr Corbyn to its conference (on November 9) immediately after he was appointed. The new Labour leader could not possibly have accepted immediately, though, because he had a political party reorganisation to carry out and did not know where he would need to be on that date.
Now, it seems, he does – and it isn’t with the CBI.
Of course, members of Labour’s now next-to-useless Right Wing have been taking the opportunity to be disloyal. Closet Tory Liam Byrne, who did the Party so much damage with his brainwave of abstaining from voting against Iain Duncan Smith’s Jobseekers (Retroactive Removal of Benefits) Act, started with a sly dig at Labour’s current economic policy, saying it “is still a work in progress”.
Then he showed his true Pink Tory colours by adding: “There’s lots of people in the business community who want to reconnect wealth creation with social justice. We need to embrace them and build a common cause with them.”
This is, of course, arse-backward. If CBI members want to reconnect with justice, then they need to embrace Labour, not the other way around.
Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former director of communications, tweeted: “If Jeremy Corbyn is seriously saying he won’t put Labour’s case to the CBI we may as well just give Osborne the job now.”
Again, this is the wrong way around. Perhaps it would appeal to the CBI’s sense of self-importance to have Labour’s leader turn up on the doorstep, cap in hand.
Let them come to him instead.
Jeremy Corbyn has turned down an invitation to speak at next week’s CBI annual conference of business leaders.
The BBC’s Norman Smith said Labour’s leader cited “prior arrangements” and the party had offered shadow business secretary Angela Eagle instead.
The annual get-together of business leaders will take place on 9 November.
A CBI spokeswoman said: “The CBI invited the leader of the opposition to its annual conference immediately after he was appointed. We received a response on 26 October, saying he was unable to attend.”
Labour said Mr Corbyn could not attend because of other commitments. Norman Smith said Labour said they had put forward Ms Eagle as an alternative speaker but the “offer was not taken up”.
Since becoming Labour leader, Mr Corbyn has spoken at the TUC Annual Congress and also at the CND’s annual conference. He has also attended a number of official functions, including a state banquet for the Chinese president.
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