BORIS Johnson has dropped Tory plans to cut corporation tax, telling business leaders he is to put £6 billion into public services instead.

In a speech to the CBI conference, the Prime Minister asked for their understanding.

George Osborne had initially announced the plan to take the tax down from 19% to 17% in his budget in 2016.

But analysis released earlier this year suggested the cut cost billions more in lost revenue than previously thought.

Corporation tax, which is the levy on company profits, was due to fall to 2p in the £1 next year.

Johnson told the audience: “I hope you won’t mind if I also announce today that we are postponing further cuts in corporation tax.

“And before you storm the stage and protest, before you storm the stage, let me remind you this saves us £6bn that we can put into the priorities of the British people, including the NHS.”

Johnson added on the postponement of corporation tax cuts: “I hope you will understand it is the sensible, it is the fiscally responsible thing to do at the present time.

“It doesn’t mean we’re in any way averse to reducing taxes on business as I’m sure you’ll understand.”

The Tory leader also said he would commit to keeping Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid in his post following the General Election.

“I’m going to give you an absolutely categorical assurance that I will keep Sajid Javid as my chancellor. How about that?

“I think he’s a great guy and I think he is doing a fantastic job and I’m proud to count him as a colleague.”

The National:

In his address to the conference, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was “nonsense” to describe him as “anti-business”.

He told the CBI: “It’s not anti-business to be against poverty pay. It’s not anti-business to say that the largest corporations should pay their taxes just as smaller companies do.

“And it’s not anti-business to want prosperity in every part of our country – not only in the financial centres of the City of London.

“I say this to business too: if a Labour government is elected on December 12, you’re going to see more investment than you’ve ever dreamt of.

“You’re going to have the best educated workforce you could ever have hoped for, and you’re going to get the world-leading infrastructure, including full fibre broadband you’ve long, long demanded, year after year at these conferences.”

Corbyn said he was “not making any apologies” for pledging to bring some key services into public ownership.

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He said: “It’s not an attack on the foundations of a modern economy, it’s the very opposite. It’s the norm in many European countries.

“It’s taking the essential steps to build a genuinely mixed economy for the 21st century.”

Corbyn added: “So I understand your caution about some of our plans but your businesses, your workers, your consumers have been failed by rip-off energy bills and very poor rail and bus services in many parts of the country, and I think many of you know that because you know things can’t go on as they are.”

On his Brexit policy, Corbyn insisted it was a “sensible and credible” approach to have further talks with the EU before holding a referendum within six months.

In her speech, LibDem leader Jo Swinson said the Government is distracted by Brexit: “I can only imagine how frustrating it is for all of you, every time we end up days away from crashing out of the EU,” she told the industry bosses.