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Sir Martin Sorrell lends weight to pro-European business campaign

LONDON - Sir Martin Sorrell, the WPP Group chief executive, is putting his weight behind a new pro-European campaigning body, Business for New Europe.

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Reuters chairman Niall Fitzgerald, formerly chairman of Unilever and another well-known supporter of the EU, joins Sir Martin on the body's advisory council. Roland Rudd, whose financial PR firm Finsbury was bought by WPP in 2004, is its new chairman. BNE will focus on promoting liberalisation within the EU.

"Business for New Europe is the right organisation at the right time," Sorrell said. "We should be proud of Europe's many achievements for business, but there needs to be greater reform and liberalisation."

FitzGerald said: "It is important that there should be a robust business voice positive about the UK's role in the EU and championing the economic reform agenda. That is why I welcome the formation of BNE, which will go above and beyond party politics."

Other business leaders putting their names to the lobby group include David Levin, chief executive of United Business Media, and Charles Dunstone, chief executive of Carphone Warehouse.

BNE marked its launch with a YouGov poll of business leaders, which found 68% thought the single market had been good for British businesses while just 12% disagreed.

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