Conservative George Osborne has said Britain is missing out on building internet giants and needs to change,
The shadow chancellor, who is visiting America's Silicon Valley, said he has "seen the future and at present Britain is not part of it".
“Why there was no British Yahoo!, Google or My Space?” He asked.
"The internet may have been invented by a Briton, but it is a sad truth that not one of the leading internet companies is British," he said.
Mr Osborne is meeting the chief executive of Yahoo! and touring Google's global headquarters.
In an article for The Times newspaper, he said Britain risked missing out on one of the world's fast-growing industries.
It was also in danger of failing to create a pool of talent and capital and reverse its declining competitiveness, he argued.
Mr Osborne pointed to a series of areas where Britain could change to improve its chances of spawning internet giants.
Despite saying last week that the Tories were unlikely to offer tax cuts at the next election, he said: "We must move in the direction of lower and simpler taxes."
Pointing to the success of low corporation tax in Ireland, he said he had singled out business tax cuts as a priority but added that economic stability must come first.
He said more work was needed to ensure British universities were "hubs of innovation" which forged strong links with business.
New laws were also needed to protect intellectual property rights as the current regime was too costly and bureaucratic, he argued.
And innovative businesses had to get better access to venture capital to take on their ideas.
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