Letter: Labour's vision for telecoms

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The Independent Online
From Mr Geoffrey Hoon

Sir: Why is Ian Lang, the President of the Board of Trade, so afraid of Labour's understanding with BT that he is making such erroneous claims about it? ("Blair's BT deal off, says Lang", 14 February).

Is this, perhaps, because Labour's policy paper Communicating Britain's Future, published last July and endorsed by Tony Blair in his party conference speech, sets out not only a clear vision for Britain's technological future but also signposts how that vision can be realised through effective partnership between the public and private sector.

Labour's understanding with BT remains firmly in place. Ian Lang has obviously forgotten that it is based on a report unanimously agreed by the Conservative-dominated Department of Trade and Industry Select Committee.

In stark contrast to Mr Lang's claims, Conservative MPs on the select committee recognised that Labour's understanding with BT was designed to provide competition and to promote investment in the information superhighway.

Yours faithfully,

Geoffrey Hoon

MP for Ashfield (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1

The writer is Labour spokesman on information technology.