Britain is not heading for a double-dip recession, former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy believes.

Tesco legend Leahy told The Sun newspaper that that he expects recovery later this year or in 2012 and blamed shaky economic conditions this year on high oil prices for a “crippling tax on consumption”.

Leahy said: “I don’t think people have fully appreciated what an oil shock we have had. The cost of filling up the car has gone up 70% in two years. It’s meant a steady recovery has gone sideways.

“But if the oil price goes down you will see a resumption in steady growth. We’ll be okay.”

Leahy, who left Tesco in March, is now investing in a variety of small companies.

He has taken a 30% stake in, a tyre-fitting firm founded by former Tesco shelf-stacker Mike Welch. Blackcircles was brought in to run a Tesco Tyres website in 2010, but Leahy said he did not influence that decision.