Businessman's bonus for Leave campaign

Longworth suspended from BCC over ‘quit EU’ comments

John Longworth vidJohn Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, has been suspended after voicing his support for a British withdrawal from Europe.

He said in a number of interviews on Thursday: “With the reforms we have received so far, the UK would be better off taking a decision to leave the European Union.”

His view conflicted with those of many members of the BCC and the Financial Times reports tonight that after an emergency board meeting called today it was decided to suspend Mr Longworth for breaching its official neutrality on the issue.

A recent survey of BCC members found that only 30% wanted Britain to pull out of the EU.

After his address, Mr Longworth said his comments were made in a personal capacity. But he is said to have compromised the organisation which has said it will not campaign on either side ahead of the 23 June referendum.

His comments have been seized upon by the Leave campaign as vital business support for its case.

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