Sir James Dyson: Rishi Sunak’s science superpower ambition a ‘political slogan’

Billionaire businessman Sir James Dyson has issued fresh criticism of Rishi Sunak’s Government, claiming that the Prime Minister’s pledge to turn the UK into a science and technology superpower is a “mere political slogan”.

In a letter to the Times, he also complains that he has still not met Mr Sunak despite being a major UK entrepreneur.

Sir James, whose company employs 3,500 people in the UK, said: “Ministers talk hubristically of Britain becoming a ‘science and technology superpower’ but their woeful policies diminish this to a mere political slogan.

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Billionaire businessman Sir James Dyson has criticised the Government (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“In the UK, Dyson now faces rocketing corporation tax (wiping out any tax credits for research and development)… and a crippling shortage of qualified engineers.”

It is not the first time the founder and chief engineer of Singapore-headquartered multinational technology company Dyson has criticised the Government.

Earlier this year, Sir James warned Mr Sunak that growth should not be seen as a “dirty word”, accusing the Government of a “short-sighted” approach to business.

Mr Sunak’s ambition of turning the UK into a science superpower post-Brexit has been central to his premiership, with the Prime Minister creating a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

A Government spokesperson said: “The UK is open for business as an innovation nation.

“We boast the biggest tech sector in Europe, reaching a combined market value of £1 trillion in 2022, we have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7, and we have world-leading strengths in science and R&D – backed by our £20 billion R&D target and introduction of policies like full-expensing.

“This will spur stronger growth, better jobs and bold new discoveries, bringing together the key technologies of tomorrow like quantum and AI, into a dedicated Department for Science, Innovation and Technology for the first time.”