Miliband – Cameron is a cheerleader for Pfizer takeover of AstraZeneca

Miliband – Cameron is a cheerleader for Pfizer takeover of AstraZeneca

Labour leader writes to PM calling for public interest test on takeovers, saying Pfizer has ‘dubious record’.

Ed Miliband has accused David Cameron of acting as a cheerleader for the US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer’s proposed takeover of its British rival AstraZeneca as he called for the brakes to be put on the biggest takeover in UK corporate history.

The Labour leader, who said Pfizer had a “pretty dubious record” on takeovers, has written to the prime minister calling for a change in the law to ensure that a public interest test on such corporate deals should be applied to strategic economic interests. The public interest test normally applies to defence companies or utilities.

Miliband has decided to intervene after Pfizer offered what he described as “pretty weak assurances” to protect AstraZeneca’s research and development base.

He told the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1: “David Cameron is in totally the wrong place on this issue. He has become a cheerleader for Pfizer’s takeover when instead he should be championing the long-term agenda for high-quality jobs in this country which AstraZeneca provides.”

Miliband added: “The prime minister, rather than being that cheerleader for this takeover with paper-thin assurances, should be actually championing British jobs and a British success story that is AstraZeneca – investing in research and development, a crucial part of our science base.”

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