(Bloomberg) -- Britons have “had enough” of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Tories and are “ready for change,” Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s second richest person, said as the clock ticks down on next month’s general election.

“The Conservatives now have had a fairly long stint and they’ve put forward a whole series of prime ministers that haven’t been terribly successful,” Ratcliffe, said on Tuesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Everybody in the UK now, you can see that the mood in the UK is ready for a change, they’ve had enough.”

With the Tories trailing the Labour Party by more than 20 points in national polling, the Ineos Group founder also signaled his approval of opposition leader Keir Starmer — who appears on track to become the next UK prime minister after the July 4 vote. “I’ve met Keir Starmer a couple times, I like Keir,” Ratcliffe said. “I think he’ll do a very sensible job.”

The remarks by the 71 year-old billionaire are in stark contrast to the run-up to the last election in 2019, when the threat posed by Starmer’s left-wing predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn, helped prompt some of the UK’s richest people to leave the country. Ratcliffe has said it was a factor in his relocation in around 2018 to Monaco, where residents don’t face income or capital gains taxes. In a further blow to Sunak, the billionaire former Tory donor John Caudwell told the BBC late on Tuesday that he’s backing Labour for the first time at this election, and that the current prime minister is an “absolute dud.”

“What I see is a Labour Party committed to GDP growth, committed to the environment, and they are my two big hot buttons,” Caudwell said. “The more and more I’ve looked at Labour, it’s a transformation. And a transformation that looks like mostly the exact direction I want a political party to go in, to put the ‘great’ back in Britain, to look after the climate.”

The billionaires’ positive words about Starmer and Labour are also a sign of how he has managed to shift perceptions about the party both with business and the electorate in the four years since he took over the party’s leadership. He and his would be chancellor, Rachel Reeves, have sought to burnish ties with corporate Britain, promising not to increase corporation tax if elected to power, and pursuing an agenda based on stimulating growth rather than falling back on traditional Labour tax-and-spend policies.

“When Jim Ratcliffe and John Caudwell say ‘we’re switching sides because Labour is the party of economic growth,’ that’s serious,” Starmer told reporters on Wednesday in Swindon, southern England. “That’s people who have long experience of running businesses and growing the economy, particularly in their sectors, who are now backing Labour.”

Asked about the two businessmen’s stance on Wednesday, Sunak sought to brush it aside, saying: “they’re two of Britain’s richest men; they can afford Labour’s tax rises.”

While Petroineos, a joint venture between Ineos and PetroChina International, has objected to Labour’s plans to ban the issue of new offshore oil and gas exploration licenses, Ratcliffe’s group also stands to gain from Labour proposals to promote the use of hydrogen as a fuel.

Ineos in 2022 announced plans to build a low-carbon hydrogen manufacturing plant on its Grangemouth site. As part of efforts to boost green investment, Labour has promised in its election manifesto to allocate £500 million ($640 million) to support the manufacture of green hydrogen.

Ratcliffe said he’s supportive of Starmer’s plan to devolve more power to local mayors as part of a plan to drive growth outside London, because the potential regeneration of Manchester is key to attracting more investment. 

But he suggested he’s not a fan of Labour’s plans to close loopholes in the current government’s policy of scrapping preferential tax treatment for non-domiciled residents, or non-doms.

“I wasn’t a fan of the non-dom change, I thought that was very foolish, but that wasn’t Labour, that was the Conservatives who came up with that smart idea,” he said. “You’ve got 60,000 very wealthy people in London, why would you want to encourage them to leave? It doesn’t make any sense to me really because they all bring enormous value” to the economy.

Ratcliffe founded the chemicals conglomerate Ineos in 1998, and remains its chairman. He also owns a minority stake in Manchester United football club, and his net worth of $15.1 billion (£11.9 billion) makes him Britain’s second richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He supported Britain’s exit from the European Union, though has since said it was poorly managed. 

--With assistance from Isabella Ward, James Herron and Rachel Morison.

(Updates with Starmer comment in seventh paragraph.)

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