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Bt (Special Share)

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade pursuant to her answer of 15 July 1997, Official Report, column 141, if the redemption of the Government's special share in British Telecommunications plc has now taken place; and if the Government holds any other shares in BT. [18058]

The Government redeemed the Special Share, in exchange for a payment by BT of £1, on 10 September. This means that the Government no longer holds any share which has a direct influence on the terms of the company's Articles of Association. HM Treasury retains for the time being a residual holding of some 10.7 million BT Shares (around 0.2 per cent. of BT's overall share capital) remaining from earlier flotation offers. As has been the policy since privatisation, the Government will not vote with these shares.