Setback for coal sell-off

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Indy Politics
PLANS to privatise British Coal suffered a setback yesterday after the Government was defeated in the Lords, writes Andrew Gilligan. Under an amendment passed by just six votes, ministers must ensure that all new owners of privatised pits can meet their environmental liabilities - contaminated land, subsidence and water pollution - before being allowed to take over.

Ministers had given a verbal promise on the liabilities issue but peers decided that a statutory guarantee was needed.