Pascal Soriot
Pascal Soriot has reportedly said he did not agree to his name being used on a Telegraph letter backing Conservative policy Telegraph/Getty

AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot has withdrawn his name from a front-page letter published by The Daily Telegraph backing Conservative business policy.

The pharmaceutical giant's CEO said he did not know his name was going to be used on the letter even though he was approached by the Tories.

Soriot said: "I support policies that reinforce a competitive tax environment and encourage investment in the UK. Neither I nor AstraZeneca endorse any political party and while I support such policies, my name should not be used in the context of the letter."

But Tory sources told IBTimes UK Soriot "saw it and signed it" and that he has decided to make a late U-turn even though he saw the letter in full.

More than 100 names of business leaders of British firms including BP, JCB and Prudential co-signed the letter that backed reducing corporation tax and said a Labour government "threatened Britain's recovery".

"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," the letter concluded.

Labour and Ed Miliband said they were not surprised by the names on the letter and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has tweeted he was not surprised by Soriot's decision.