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Royal Mail

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will establish a mechanism to ensure that the private sector partner for Royal Mail may never take a majority stake; what new technology will be put in place across Royal Mail; what the timetable for the tender process will be; and if he will make a statement. (248366)

My noble Friend, the Secretary of State said in his statement on 16 December 2008 that his Department will want to study the report in detail and he would respond with a full statement of Government policy in the early part of next year. He was clear that the proposed partnership is on a minority basis and the Government have a commitment to keep Royal Mail publicly owned.

What technology is rolled out across Royal Mail is a matter for the company's management and I have asked Adam Crozier to respond direct to my hon. Friend on this. I will ensure that copies of his reply are in the Libraries of the House.

The detailed process, and timetable for engaging with those interested in entering into a partnership with Royal Mail, is still being developed but it is expected to commence early this year.