London, Jan.15 (ANI): Britain's Business Minister and one of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's closest allies, Baroness Shriti Vadera, has invited fierce criticism from certain quarters for claiming to see "green shoots" of economic recovery, even as the rest of the world continues to suffer from a meltdown. On a day when thousands more job losses were announced and the FTSE 100 index of leading shares closed down almost five per cent, Lady Vadera suggested she could see the beginnings of a turnaround in Britain's fortunes.
According to The Telegraph, her remarks, in a lunchtime television interview, caused criticism from business leaders and opposition politicians, who accused her of being "out of touch" and "living in a parallel universe".
Hours later, Lady Vadera was sent on a new round of television appearances to clarify her remarks.
She said she had only been referring to credit and bond markets, and while refusing to apologise outright, said she was "sorry" if her comments had been "misunderstood".
More than 7,200 job losses were announced yesterday, taking the total since January 5 past the 44,500 mark, according to calculations by The Daily Telegraph.
Barclays said a further 2,100 were at risk, after announcing 2,000 job cuts just this week. Grattan, the catalogue retailer, said 3,800 were in danger.
The Conservatives said Lady Vadera's comments showed ministers were "insensitive and out of touch" with the reality facing millions of families.
Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman Vince Cable said that they showed she was "living in a parallel universe". (ANI)