“It is concerning that a 21st century Prime Minister needs to stand up and defend the contribution of businesses, markets and trade to our country’s prosperity, but unequivocal backing for wealth creators, risk-takers and entrepreneurs is critical to the confidence of firms all across the UK.

“Firms will appreciate Theresa May’s clear support for the role of business in society and for the EU nationals who contribute so much to our businesses and communities. The government must continue to underline, loudly and clearly, that EU nationals living and working in the UK are welcome, wanted and appreciated.

“The Prime Minister said much today about her party’s record in government, but less about what concrete, practical steps the government will take in the months ahead to support growth and investment. Businesses will be looking for clear commitments this Autumn. We need a mission statement for growth, with action to fix the fundamentals, and prepare the country for a period of change.”

On housing, Marshall added:

“We have long called for the state to use its balance sheet to make a direct contribution to housebuilding. The Prime Minister’s announcement of £2bn for this purpose is an important first step.”

On energy, he said:

“Businesses will be confused by the Prime Minister’s commitment to free markets, on the one hand, and her stated intention to intervene in the energy market, on the other. Attention must be paid to avoid unintended consequences that drive up costs to consumers or businesses.”