On Thursday 5th November I spoke for the Labour Shadow Treasury team in support of the following motion proposed by Kate Osamor, Labour MP for Edmonton, which called for the Government to suspend its sale of shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland.
I summarised my contribution as below:
'It is our responsibility to map out the best way forward for UK banking, so that it delivers for the electorate and the economy as a whole. That means suspending sales of shares in RBS, which give away taxpayers’ money to private shareholders. It is incumbent on the Chancellor to explain why he thinks that is the right thing to do, and that means engaging with a real review of the banking sector and alternative models that will deliver a diversified and more resilient economy. How we treat RBS now will demonstrate whether we have learned the lessons of the crisis.
The scale of the bail-out and the money invested on behalf of the taxpayer mean that we cannot take a simple decision lightly and return to business as usual. The Labour party wants a thriving and dynamic banking sector that will best deliver for the economy and the electorate as a whole. We do not accept that the case has been made to sell the bank off now—at significant loss to the taxpayer—and that is why we support a full, independent review of all the options before further shares are sold, and we encourage MPs to support the motion.'
The motion read:
That this House calls on the Government to consider suspending the further sale of its shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland whilst it looks at alternative options; and believes that this should take place in the context of a wider review of the UK’s financial sector and that such a review should consider the case for establishing new models of banking, including regional banks.
You can watch my contribution in full here: