July 8, 2019 / 9:35 PM / 8 days ago

PM hopeful Hunt pledges to support U.S.-style entrepreneurs

Jeremy Hunt, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, attends a hustings event in Cardiff, Wales, Britain, July 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Monday if he becomes prime minister he would seek to boost poor national productivity by supporting entrepreneurs in a bid to emulate the business culture of the United States.

Hunt, one of two contenders to replace Prime Minister Theresa May later this month, has pledged to “turbo-charge” the economy by cutting taxes on businesses, and boosting investment in infrastructure and education.

Polling suggests Hunt’s rival for the top job, his predecessor as foreign minister Boris Johnson, is far ahead in support among Conservative Party members, who are voting by post to choose their next leader and prime minister.

“We can only afford to fund our vital public services if we grow the size of the pot and my plan will do exactly that,” Hunt, himself an entrepreneur, said in a statement setting out plans for the economy.

“We have to remember that the Conservative Party should back the wealth creators and entrepreneurs who take risks to create jobs.”

Hunt’s plan includes “embedding a risk-taking, entrepreneurial culture which matches the very best of the United States”.

This would include reviewing technical and regulatory barriers to entrepreneurial culture and a commitment to waiving the university tuition fees of any graduate that starts a successful business from scratch, he said.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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