Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has said he "doesn't have a problem with people making a lot of money" and suggested that Labour wants to increase the size of the middle class and "help people make their first million".

The MP's comments represent an effort to shake off accusations that Labour is an "anti-rich" party.

Under Ed Miliband's leadership, Labour has faced taunts from the Conservatives that it has lost the backing from business enjoyed by Tony Blair.

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But the shadow business secretary told The House magazine the party was not getting involved in an "arms race" with Tories over how many businesspeople they could get to sign letters of support in the press.

He also said that ambitious entrepreneurs' buccaneering spirit was "very much in tune with Labour values".