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Electricity Supply (Privatisation)

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what representations he has received in favour of the privatisation of the electricity supply industry; and if he will make a statement.

I have received a number of representations on this matter. The Government have no present plans to privatise the electricity supply industry.

In view of the remarkable success of the privatisation of the gas industry and the benefits that have stemmed from it for the industry and the consumer, is there not a sound case for pressing ahead with the privatisation of the electricity industry as speedily as possible? Will the Minister consider the possibility, not of a blanket share issue, but of separate stock for separate area boards?

I agree with my hon. Friend. British Gas has been an outstanding success, as 5 million ordinary people are willing to validate, including many customers and virtually all the employees of British Gas. In any consideration of the future of the electricity supply industry one must consider the lessons to he learnt from British Gas.

When considering any representations that are made to the Secretary of State regarding the privatisation of the electricity supply industry, will he assure the House that thermal nuclear power stations will not be operated by the private sector?

As we have no plans for privatisation, I have no comments to make on any details of such a scheme, should it take place in the future. I can only assure the hon. Gentleman that, we took great care and made a great success of British Gas, and we shall do the same in any future privatisation of any other industry.