The Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) has called for policy makers across the UK and Europe to better inform themselves of the issues affecting small firms.

According to the FPB, new research has highlighted that only nine per cent of politicians have more than a decade of business experience, meaning they "do not even begin to understand their [small firms’] needs".

The statistics were generated through a survey of politicians from the UK and the European parliament carried out by ComRes in association with the Industry and Parliament Trust.

"Our members are sceptical that politicians care about anything other than clinging onto power. This research will only further the belief that their elected representatives lack the knowledge required to make a positive difference for businesses," said Phil Orford, chief executive of the FPB.

Mr Orford added that such a difference is "all the more critical" due to current economic conditions.

According to the FPB website, the organisation was established in 1977 and represents 25,000 private businesses based in the UK.