It was good to see Sir Keir Starmer launch Labour’s General Election campaign in our region last week, but I was disappointed there was virtually no mention of business.

I am well aware that his speech at the National Com posites Centre at the Bristol and Bath Science Park was focused on the politics of the election which now looks like being on November 14.

But having chosen such an innovative location for his big speech, and at the heart of South West industry too, I had hoped he might squeeze in a mention of his support for business. Perhaps I am naïve in thinking that.

This is not a political column. I try to encourage support for Gloucestershire companies and a good number of those companies attended the event.

I had hoped that Sir Keir would take some questions from the South West media about his priorities for our region but that didn’t happen because they were “tight on time”.

National news organisations were given time for their questions. “Blimey it was dull”, was part of the headline in the Daily Mail over the piece by their Westminster sketch writer, Quentin Letts, who happens to be a Gloucestershire resident. For me, Sir Keir’s speech was not how he performed.It was the content . I would have asked him how he intended to fix the broken Business Rates system, which is really just an iniquitous tax on commercial property and shops.

And what are his plans to sort the planning system, which many firms I know in Gloucestershire say has hindered their investment.

Growth and the need for growth is, of course, the buzz word of politicians but it’s been so very hard to achieve.

As we enter what would appear to be a very tetchy General Election campaign, Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak must remember that the needs of business must not be forgotten.

Our companies here in Gloucestershire are the key to that growth the political parties talk about and they need to ensure business is not ignored in the clamour for votes.