Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus MacNeil has condemned the Tory UK government’s plans to privatise the remaining 30% stake in the Royal Mail.

The local MP, who has long campaigned on Royal Mail issues, says the move further threatens the terms of the Universal Service Obligation – which safeguards postal services and deliveries in rural areas like our islands.

Mr MacNeil has questioned the legitimacy of the move by the Tories, as they made no reference to it in the run up to the election.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“Over the years islanders, in their hundreds, have contacted me on a wide range of Royal Mail issues. They have done that because they value the service and, in particular, they value the Universal Service that is vital to our rural communities.

“Along with my SNP colleagues we resolutely opposed the privatisation of Royal Mail and we oppose the disposal of the remaining 30 percent stake in the company. The total sale of Royal Mail to the private sector is giving away the family jewels.

“Last year the National Audit Office concluded the sale of Royal Mail was rushed at the expense of value for money, but now the Tories are just carrying on regardless.

“The future of our Royal Mail services continues to be regularly raised with me in communities right across the Western Isles. The implications of a privatised Royal Mail seeking to dilute or end the Universal Service would increase the cost of doing business in rural areas, it could lead to centralised collection of mail and make life very difficult for those who rely on mail services in rural and remote areas.

“This is a sneaky manoeuvre by George Osborne – which he and David Cameron kept very quiet about during the general election campaign and the SNP will continue to argue against this every step of the way.”