LUSH boss Mark Constantine has claimed business has been “abandoned” by a government which is more concerned with immigration than trade.

The co-founder and managing director of the Poole-based cosmetics brand made the comments while speaking to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn Lush’s Creative Showcase 2017.

Mr Constantine, who donated money to the Green Party at the last election, interviewed the opposition leader on stage, after Mr Corbyn tried his hand at making a Lush bath bomb.

Mr Constantine, who has been creating Lush products in Poole High Street since 1995, said: “I’m a capitalist and I believe in the freedom of movement of goods, people and capital.

“The Conservative Party have abandoned real businesses like ours and other manufacturers, retailers and big employers like the hotel and caterers.

“They seem to have decided that immigration is more important than trade.”

But he also cited President Ronald Reagan’s view that the most terrifying words in the English language were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”, asking Mr Corbyn how he would help business thrive.

Mr Corbyn replied by praising Lush’s work campaigning work on animal welfare and environmental sustainability. “I want to congratulate you on what you do, what you’ve achieved in growth as a business and the support you’ve given to so many really good and important causes,” he said.

He added: “You do it for the most part voluntarily. Very little of that is regulatory, and anyway you do it because you believe it.

“Has it affected your business in any way? From my observation, no, it’s had the opposite effect because there is a great desire among people who like to shop in a cooperative, they like it that the profits to go to somewhere good rather than a tax haven and they like companies that pay their taxes so the rest of us can benefit from health and education and all the other things that we want.”

The exchange came during the same conversation in which Mr Corbyn suggested he was “in the process” of becoming a vegan, in response to a question from vegan staff at Lush.