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Corporate greed crackdown: Are things about to change in the UK?

Business chiefs in the United Kingdom should heed a warning over executive pay and tax evasion from the country's new prime minister according to the Institute of Directors.

Theresa May who will be installed as Britain's new leader after meeting the Queen tonight, has pledged to overhaul corporate governance rules, make big companies pay their tax and put "ordinary, working people" first.

In a speech Monday May said it didn't matter "whether you're Amazon, Google or Starbucks; you have a duty to put something back. You have a debt to your fellow citizens and you have a responsibility to pay your taxes".

This was complemented with a promise to make shareholder votes on executive pay binding.

"It is not anti-business to suggest that big business needs to change," she said.

Simon Walker, Director General at the Institute of Directors told CNBC Wednesday that he believed May's firm approach toward big business is timely.

"There has been greed at the top in British business for some years. Executive salaries have just got way out of hand. I've warned businesses for some time, that unless they curb this voluntarily then a government is going to take action", he said.

Walker said Theresa May is a believer in the free market and he is hopeful she doesn't reach for regulation too quickly.

"I'd far rather business was providing its own solutions that dealt with these very real problems. But unless business deals with it, politicians are going to have a hand in it and they will get it wrong," he said.


Recession on way for Britain?

Walker says based on conversations with members of his organizations he expects a mild recession in the United Kingdom.

At the other end of the corporate spectrum the Federation of Small Businesses national chairman, Mike Cherry, said Wednesday that he doesn't think the U.K. is going to see a contraction.

"No I don't think we will [see a recession]. Small businesses are resilient. They need confidence restoring. I'm certain that this new Prime Minister Theresa May will put business right at the heart of it."

Cherry said many small businesses run or employ many EU and non-EU nationals and how this is addressed has to be right at the center of the new U.K. leader's policy.


The anti-corporation strategy is seen as a play to left and center ground voters .

However shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, says May's economic policies are an act of theft from his opposition Labour Party.

And he doesn't believe May will actually act on her promises.

"Particularly about re-balancing our economy, tackling the grotesque inequality that we've got, because I don't think she'll take on the vested interests of wealth and large corporations in this country."

And McDonnell said her previous actions as a politician betrayed her true beliefs.

"This is a woman who voted for all the austerity measures that Cameron and Osborne brought through that impacted not just the poorest in our society but middle and low earners as well," he said Wednesday.