UK general election: What are the progressive parties saying when it comes to Royal Mail?

Czec billionaire Daniel Kretinsky will take over the 500-year-old company

Royal Mail building

Royal Mail is to be taken over by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky after the current owners agreed on an offer today for the 500-year-old institution. 

The entrepreneur’s £3.6bn proposal will include assuming the company’s debts, whilst also agreeing to retain the name, brand, UK headquarters and UK tax residency, as well as protecting the 150,000 employees benefits and pensions. 

President of the Trades Union Congress Matt Wrack has previously said the takeover bid was symbolic of the “nightmare of privatisation” under the Conservative party, as critics note the declining quality of service, as owners put profit before people. 

So what have the progressive political parties said they would do when it comes to the Royal Mail?


Labour reacted to the takeover by giving assurance that it will make sure the new owner of Royal Mail adheres to his promises over workforce protection and retaining British identity, if the party wins the general election. 

In a statement, the party said: “These assurances are welcome that Royal Mail will retain its British identity and safeguard its workforce with no compulsory redundancies. Labour in government will ensure these are adhered to.” 

Last year the party retreated from its plan to re-nationalise the Royal Mail. At the time, shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said, “It’s not about nationalising industries. I’ve been very clear that every pound of taxpayers’ money spent, we will explain where that money will come from.”

The General Secretary of the CWU postal workers union, Dave Ward, said today that his union will be “directly engaging” with Labour to call for a new model of ownership for Royal Mail. 


The Green Party holds the notion that public services that are designed for the public good should be in public ownership. Although the party has not released a specific statement in reaction to the Royal Mail takeover, the party confirmed to LFF that if it were in power it would look towards re-nationalising the company further down the line. 

Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats were part of the coalition government that brought in the privatisation of the Royal Mail, the party has not yet provided LFF with its current plans for how it would approach the UK’s postal delivery service. 

However it has been critical recently of the Royal Mail ownership and management. Lib Dem Business Spokesperson Sarah Olney said in April that “people shouldn’t have to pay the price for Royal Mail’s failure” after plans to reduce second class deliveries were announced. 


When the Royal Mail was first part-privatised, the now First Minister of the SNP, John Swinney, said: “Royal Mail privatisation being railroaded through by UK govt doesn’t speak for the people of Scotland.”

The SNP have committed to keeping Scottish Water and the NHS in public ownership, along with nationalising Scotrail next year. However it does not mention the Royal Mail among the sectors it would nationalise on its website.

(Image credit: Osde8info-Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

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