THE Government faced anger from Labour MPs and union leaders after it was revealed a Bill to sell off part of the Royal Mail is to be introduced into Parliament on Thursday.
One Labour MP said he was “astonished” at the move and warned it would unleash “mass opposition” in Parliament and among the public.
Gordon Brown will now have to tackle the biggest back-bench revolt since he became Prime Minister as well as opposition from postal workers and the prospect of a major union disaffiliating from the Labour party in protest.
Opponents of the Government’s controversial plans had expected the Bill to be brought forward nearer to Easter, but it will be published on Thursday.
Hundreds of postal workers will join a massive protest tomorrow against the Government’s plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail in a crucial week for all sides in the controversy.
Members of the Communication Workers Union from across the UK will travel to London for a rally before lobbying MPs as part of a campaign against selling off part of the postal group.
A Commons motion opposing the sale has been signed by 139 Labour MPs.
Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: “There is no support in Parliament or from the public for privatisation of Royal Mail. This is the wrong move by the Government.”
The CWU, which has a policy to ballot members on disaffiliation from the Labour party should privatisation of Royal Mail take place, has warned that the Government’s plans were a “defining moment” in its relationship with the unions.
The CWU gives around £1 million a year to the party as well as practical help such as supporting Labour during elections.