George Osborne
The open letter backed backed Tory plans to lower corporation tax to 20%Getty

More than 100 business leaders have signed a letter declaring their support for the Conservatives as they are worried about the "risk" Labour poses to Britain's economic recovery.

In an open letter published in the Daily Telegraph, 103 heads of British firms such as BP, Mothercare and Prudential spoke of how they backed the Tories plans to lower corporation tax to 20%.

The leaders, who also include former Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne and and West Ham United vice-chairman and Apprentice star Baroness Brady, described how a change of government after May's general election would "threaten jobs and deter investment" and also send a "negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk".

Chancellor George Osborne has described the backing from the business leaders as "unprecedented".

He said: "An intervention on this scale and with this clarity from Britain's business leaders is unprecedented in any recent general election.

"Over 100 business leaders, heading up some of our largest companies and most famous brands, and employing over half a million people, have spoken out.

"And the warning from Britain's business leaders couldn't be clearer: a change of course will threaten jobs, deter investment, send a negative signal about our country and put the recovery at risk."

Labour dismissed the letter supporting a Tory-led government as "nothing new".

Shadow buisness secretary Chuka Umunna added: "No one will be surprised that some business people are calling for low taxes for big businesses. That's nothing new and under Labour Britain will have the most competitive corporation tax rate in the G7.

"But whilst the recovery may have reached some firms it hasn't reached many others which is why we will prioritise tax cuts for the smallest firms with an immediate cut in business rates for 1.5 million small business premises.‎

‎"And because we understand that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed ‎we are today announcing our plans to ban exploitative zero hour contracts.

"We don't believe, as David Cameron does, in more tax cuts for the richest in society - the priority is tax cuts for small firms, working people and saving our NHS."

Open letter in full:

Dear Sirs,

We run some of the leading businesses in the UK. We believe this Conservative-led Government has been good for business and has pursued policies which have supported investment and job creation.

David Cameron and George Osborne's flagship policy of progressively lowering Corporation Tax to 20% has been very important in showing the UK is open for business. It has been a key part of their economic plan.

The result is that Britain grew faster than any other major economy last year and businesses like ours have created over 1.85m new jobs.

We believe a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment. This would send a negative message about Britain and put the recovery at risk.