Trump must engage with Putin over Syria, says Jeremy Corbyn

However, while the government discloses all such meetings on a quarterly basis, Labour has ceased the practice since Mr Corbyn took over as leader in 2015. "It's a national scandal", the Labour leader said.

In his speech, Mr Corbyn will say that, in power, Labour would require any company bidding for a public sector contract to pay its own suppliers within 30 days and would look at introducing for the private sector a system of binding arbitration with fines for persistent late payers.

"It is imperative that small business owners receive the support and guidance required and fair access to the funds that they are owed to secure the future of their businesses".

Jeremy Corbyn refused to answer journalists questions about Syria at a press conference today, insisting he would only address his new small business policy. "With Jeremy Corbyn in charge of the nation's finances, Labour would crash the economy just like they did last time", she added.

FSB national chairman Mike Cherry welcomed Mr Corbyn's proposals on the "late payments crisis" facing small businesses.

The Labour leader called for more pressure to be put on Russia to ensure a peaceful settlement in Syria, shortly before Boris Johnson's call for targeted sanctions against senior Russian and Syrian figures was rejected by G7 foreign ministers.

The survey by Zurich of more than 1,000 small-and-medium sized business owners discovered more than a fifth (21 per cent) are now owed more than £25,000, while just shy of one in 10 (nine per cent) are owed more than £100,000. It's a burden, a distraction, that will hold entrepreneurs back.

During the speech, Mr Corbyn appeared to make light of having to pay £100 fine for late filing of his tax returns past year, saying he had made a "donation" to the HMRC.

  • Leroy Wright