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Lords win changes

The Government secured the passage through Parliament of the emergency bill to nationalise Northern Rock after making some concessions to peers.

After clearing the Commons, the Banking (Special Provisions) Bill was defeated three times by the Lords but peers backed down after a number of concessions were made by the Government.

The Government committed to publish a regular business strategy for the firm tofollow and to publish a framework agreement setting out the relationship between it andthe board of Northern Rock. A compromise was also reached whereby the Office of Fair Trading will report on the effect the nationalised Northern Rock is having on the industry.

Opposition calls for Nor-thern Rock to fall under the remit of the Freedom of Inf-ormation Act were rejected by the Government. Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne says: “These are important retreats over key areas from Alistair Darling. We will continue to press for Freedom of Information so that the public know what they are buying.”

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