Letter: Dialogue on regulation

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From Mr Jack Cunningham, MP

Sir: Your interesting business page comment of 1 September ("Regulation cannot continue without reform", 1 September) is completely mistaken about Labour's position on regulation of privatised utilities. I have repeatedly made clear that we have no proposals "to put utility regulation back in the hands of ministers", as your column suggests.

I have argued that regulation has failed consumers - with which you apparently agree - and that we would wish to see excess profits shared with customers.

Since April I have been involved in an open dialogue with regulators, managers, consumer organisations and unions about how we should reform the regulatory system. That process of consultation continues with a conference in London on 19 September. We shall then finalise our proposals. Giving ministers power to regulate industries will not be among them.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Cunningham

MP for Copeland (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

1 September

The writer is Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.