A right wing think-tank with links to senior members of the Conservative Party is calling on Business Secretary Vince Cable to resign or be sacked over the “botched” sale of the Royal Mail.
Last week, the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee said the way the Royal Mail had been sold off had cost taxpayers £1bn. The initial offer price for Royal Mail shares was set by Government at £3.30 but by the end of the first day’s trading on 11 October the price had risen to £4.55. By July 1 it stood at £6.19p.
Bow Group chairman Ben Harris-Quinney says: “In light of the select committee findings the only appropriate course of action is now for the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to step down or be sacked in the upcoming Cabinet re-shuffle.”
“Losing the taxpayer £1bn in a rushed share sale that was clearly avoidable demands an equal level of accountability.
”It is likely that the Liberal Democrats will cite the potential breakup of the Coalition as the reason to keep Cable in his position, but with 75 per cent of Conservative Party members and an increasing number of backbenchers in favour of an early breakup of the Coalition this may also serve as a good opportunity for the Prime Minister to demonstrate his commitment to accountability and his party.”
Former Conservative prime minister John Major, former-chancellors Lord Lamont and Lord Howe and former-Conservative Party leader Lord Howard are among those involved in the Bow Group.
Some of the financial institutions which advised Government on the flotation price were also designated preferred investors in the privatisation.
The committee’s report, published last week, says: “On the basis of the performance of the share price to date, it appears that the taxpayer has missed out on significant value.”