Tory leadership contender Kemi Badenoch took a swipe against Ben & Jerry’s owner Unilever, saying they focus on "social justice" at the expense of profits.
The 42-year-old MP for Saffron Walden criticised the “Ben & Jerry’s tendencies” of companies during her Conservative leadership campaign on Tuesday (12 July).
The former equalities minister argued there was a trend for bosses to focus on purpose over profit, which has led to "an underlying economic, social, cultural and intellectual malaise."
"The Right has lost its confidence and courage and ability to defend the free market as the fairest way of helping people prosper," Badenoch said. “It's been undermined by retreating in the face of the Ben & Jerry’s tendency, those who say a business's main priority is social justice, not productivity and profits."
Standing in front of a union flag-patterned backdrop bearing the slogan "Kemi for Prime Minister", she said: "In the debate, we’ve been having about the future of our party and our country, there have been lots of promises to cut taxes.
"I am committed to reducing corporate and personal taxes, but I will not enter into a tax bidding war over, "My tax cuts are bigger than yours."
"For too long, politicians have been saying, 'You can have it all; you can have your cake and eat it'," she added.
"But I’m here to tell you that that isn’t true. It never has been.
"There are always tough choices in life and in politics; no free lunches, no tax cuts without limits on Government spending, no stronger defence without a slimmer state.
"Unlike others, I’m not going to promise you things without a plan to deliver them."
Badenoch is competing against prominent Cabinet faces, including Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, but said her lack of experience is a "huge advantage" because she does not come with "the baggage of so many of the decisions that have been made" in recent years.
"People want a fresh face, and they can’t have somebody who has been in Cabinet a very long time," she said.
She said she has "a lot of respect" for Sunak and Truss but is "not worried" about running against them.
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