Commons move shocks Royal Mail supporters

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Indy Politics

The controversial Bill paving the way for a partial sale of the Royal Mail has had its first reading in the Commons, taking opponents by surprise, it was revealed today.

The Postal Services Bill had its final reading in the Lords on Wednesday and MPs expected it to move to the Commons next month.

But it was learned today that the Bill had its first reading yesterday, the final sitting of the Commons before MPs left for their May break.

The Prime Minister is facing a massive rebellion against the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail by over 100 Labour MPs and many now believe the second reading of the Bill could be as early as June 1, the first day back from recess.

One opponent of the Bill said today: "This dramatically reduces the opportunity for debate and amendments and could be seen as stifling debate around the future of our postal services."

It was also pointed out that if the second reading was held before the 4 June European and council elections, MPs could come under fresh pressure to support the Government.

The Communication Workers Union published an opinion poll on Wednesday showing overwhelming public opposition to selling off the Royal Mail.