New York's former mayor, Michael Bloomberg, called on British voters to back Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives in next week's election, telling them the party was the right choice to secure the country's economic recovery.
Opinion polls indicate neither the Conservatives nor the opposition Labour Party will win an overall majority in the 650-seat parliament, an unusual situation for Britain, which has only had one formal coalition government since the end of World War Two.
Bloomberg called on voters to allow the Conservatives to finish the job they'd started, crediting the party's leadership of a coalition government since 2010 for making the country one of the fastest-growing of any major western nation.
"Now is no time to turn back," Bloomberg wrote on BloombergView, part of his majority-owned news and data company, which is a competitor to Thomson Reuters.
"Britain's progress has been hard won, thanks to hard choices, made in the face of tremendous resistance, that were proved right. It is my hope that voters will reward the leaders who made those decisions."
Bloomberg, whose company employs 3,000 in Britain, also said he hoped British voters handed the Conservatives a majority government on May 7.
With millions of voters turning to once marginal parties, a majority government looks unlikely for either of the two main parties. That leavesg the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats vying to position themselves as potential junior coalition partners.
Bloomberg's intervention follows that of Bill de Blasio, his successor as New York mayor, who last September praised the Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband.
It is not the first time Bloomberg has associated himself with the Conservatives. In 2012, he spoke at the ruling Conservative party's conference, calling Cameron a "gold medal prime minister".
A company owned by Bloomberg, who has been both a Democrat and Republican in the U.S, has also been involved in funding Britain's political parties.
Bloomberg TradeBook, a British-registered financial markets broker and research firm owned by Bloomberg LP, gave money to all three of the mainstream leading parties, an approach that is unusual in the UK.
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