Lords reject changes to Royal Mail bill

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Amendments to the Postal Services Bill which would have required Royal Mail to remain in public ownership have been rejected in the House of Lords.

One of the defeated amendments sought to limit the initial public offering of shares in Royal Mail. Another sought to require Royal Mail employees to be represented on the board of any new body.

Lord Lea of Crondall, for the amendments, said: “If the Bill reaches the statute book in its present form, in a year or so we will almost certainly have a repeat of the public interest being prejudiced by the modalities of the sale by merchant banks.”

The Postal Services Bill makes provision for the restructuring of Royal Mail, including allowing the sale of shares in Royal Mail and providing for Post Office to remain in public ownership; the transfer of Royal Mail’s pension deficit to government; changes to the regulatory framework; and a regime to protect the continuation of the universal postal service.

The bill started in the House of Commons. It completed its committee stage in the Lords on 6th April. A second day of report stage is scheduled for 17th May.

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