Cameron: Miliband 'can't talk' about the economy


The prime minister has upbraided the Labour leader for focusing on the sale of Royal Mail at the weekly question session.

Ed Miliband returned to the topic of Royal Mail on 30 April 2014, claiming that City investors he referred to as "a lucky few" were given a "golden ticket" to buy shares and then sell them on the first day of privatisation.

David Cameron insisted the sale of the service "has been a success for our country".

"A business that lost £1bn under Labour has now paid money back to the taxpayer, is making profits and the people we should be praising are the 140,000 employees of Royal Mail who are now, under this government, shareholders in the business they work for," he added.

"Isn't it interesting that with the growth in our economy, the fall in unemployment, the reduction in the deficit, you are reduced - like old Labour - to complaining about a successful privatisation?" the prime minister asked.

Mr Miliband responded: "The reason this matters is because the sale was grossly undervalued - shares sold for £1.7bn at privatisation are now worth £2.7bn.

"And who cashed in? Twelve of the 16 so-called long-term investors made a killing worth hundreds of millions of pounds within weeks."

Mr Cameron said of the opposition leader's line of attack: "It pleases the backbenchers, it excites the trade unions but it is utterly, utterly meaningless.

"Are you re-committing to re-nationalising the Post Office? No. Of course not. It's just playing to the gallery because you can't talk about the success of our economy."

The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures.

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.