Duty of every MP to preserve public mail

SNP Postal Affairs spokesman, Mike Weir MP, has called on all MPs – regardless of party – to oppose the privatisation of Royal Mail. His challenge comes on the morning Lord Mandelson yet again attacked the postal workers.

Mr Weir has led SNP MPs in signing EDM 428 lodged by Labour MP Geraldine Smith. He is now calling on those Scottish Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs who have not already backed the EDM to sign up and stand up for Scotland’s vital postal services.

Mr Weir said:     

“Plans to privatise Royal Mail are absolute madness, and Scottish MPs who fail to stand up against Lord Mandelson’s plans should be named and shamed.

“The future of Royal Mail as a public service is of vital interest to Scotland and every community and small business should make known their opposition to this crazy scheme.

“We have witnessed the damage done to the Post Office by Labour’s closure plan. We cannot diminish our postal services further.

“Scottish MPs must wake up to their constituents concerns and reject the UK Government’s plans outright.”

Commenting on Lord Mandelson's remarks about postal workers union leaders this morning Mr Weir said:

"Lord Mandelson is bounding where even the great privateer Mrs Thatcher feared to thread and it is utterly extraordinary to see a so-called Labour government taking the knife to such an important public service.
"His threats over the pensions of hard working postal workers make it look like he has reverted to the same sort of bully-boy tactics he used over the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds when he refused to bail out the bank separately. We can all see how well that turned out."



1. Text of EDM 428

That this House notes that the Labour Party Conference 2008, with the backing of Ministers, supported a vision of a wholly publicly-owned, integrated Royal Mail Group; welcomes the conclusion of the Hooper Report that the current universal service obligation offered by Royal Mail, including six days a week delivery, must be protected and that the primary duty of a new regulator should be to maintain it; further welcomes the recommendations in the Report that the Government should take responsibility for the pensions deficit which followed an extended contributions holiday; endorses the call for a new relationship between management and postal unions and welcomes the commitment of the Communication Workers Union to negotiate an agreement which would support the modernisation of the industry; observes that in 2007 the Government agreed to a £1.2 billion loan facility on commercial terms to modernise Royal Mail operations; rejects the recommendation of the Hooper Report to sell a minority stake in Royal Mail which would risk fracturing one of Britain's greatest public services; further notes that the Government is currently advertising for a new Chair of Royal Mail; and urges the Secretary of State to appoint a Chair and management team who are committed to the principles of a modern public enterprise.

2. Scottish MPs who have failed to sign EDM 428

Danny Alexander, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat

Gordon Banks, Ochil and South Perthshire, Labour
John Barrett, Edinburgh West, Liberal Democrat
Anne Begg, Aberdeen South, Labour
Russell Brown, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour
Des Browne, Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Labour
Malcolm Bruce, Gordon, Liberal Democrat

David Cairns, Inverclyde, Labour
Menzies Campbell, Fife North East, Liberal Democrat 
Alistair Carmichael, Orkney and Shetland, Liberal Democrat 
Tom Clarke, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Labour
Michael Connarty, Linlithgow and East Falkirk, Labour
Brian Donohoe, Central Ayrshire, Labour
Frank Doran, Aberdeen North, Labour
Nigel Griffiths, Edinburgh South, Labour
Tom Harris, Glasgow South, Labour
Jimmy Hood, Lanark and Hamilton East, Labour
Eric Joyce, Falkirk, Labour

Charles Kennedy, Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Liberal Democrat 
John McFall, West Dunbartonshire, Labour
Rosemary McKenna, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Labour
Michael Moore, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, Liberal Democrat 

David Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, Tory
Anne Moffat, East Lothian, Labour
Alan Reid, Argyll and Bute, Liberal Democrat 
John Reid, Airdrie and Shotts, Labour
Willie Rennie, Dunfermline and West Fife, Liberal Democrat 
John Robertson, Glasgow North West, Labour
Lindsay Roy, Glenrothes, Labour
John Thurso, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Liberal Democrat 
Robert Smith, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, Liberal Democrat 
Jo Swinson, East Dunbartonshire, Liberal Democrat