written by
Ganderson, Joseph
Prawn Cocktails and Cold Shoulders: Labour, the Conservatives and the City of London since the 1990s – The Political Quarterly
scritto da
Ganderson, Joseph


This article charts surprising departures in how the two major British parties have cultivated and regulated financial services since the 1990s. During this time, Labour leaderships have consistently sought to accommodate the City, while the Conservatives have defied it at important junctures. This pattern of behaviour challenges the assumption in classical business power theory that Conservatives should be more attuned to finance’s preferences than Labour. The article attributes this to the parties’ distinct understandings of the interplay between the sector’s business power and their own statecraft, which derive from substantially varying political links with the City. Labour’s repeated charm offensives are prompted by a sensitivity to disinvestment and perpetually weak political ties. The Conservatives’ approach is less sensitive to the sector’s economic weight and is underwritten by enduring political ties. The article examines these differences over time and with special reference to two episodes: post-financial crisis banking reforms and Brexit.

To cite this article:

Ganderson, J. (2022), Prawn Cocktails and Cold Shoulders: Labour, the Conservatives and the City of London since the 1990s. The Political Quarterly, 93: 209-217. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-923X.13137


#banking andfinance #businesspower #City of London #Conservatives #Labour #party politics
from the same author:
A Very European Way Out: Polity Maintenance and the Design of Article 50 – Government and Opposition
Exiting after Brexit: public perceptions of future European Union member state departures – West European Politics
Chapter 5: Fighting for Fintech: competition, regulation and accountability in a Europe of financial innovation – Regulating Finance in Europe
This project is funded with a Synergy Grant by the European Research Council under Grant Agreement n. 810356. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.