ALBA Party depute leader Kenny MacAskill MP has said Royal Mail should be brought back into public hands in an independent Scotland.

The privatised service was his by a series of strikes that wreaked havoc in the run-up to Christmas.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government passed the Postal Services Act of 2011, allowing for 90% of Royal Mail to be privatised.

In 2013, then UK business secretary Sir Vince Cable announced that shares would be floated on the London Stock Exchange, despite 96% of Royal Mail staff opposing the sale. The last public shares were sold off in 2015.

MacAskill says Alba Party has “stood in solidarity with members of the CWU and striking postmen and women” and that with independence his party will champion workers rights to create a “fairer society far removed from the anti trade union rhetoric we witness in Westminster”. 

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Royal Mail employees include around 11,000 Scottish postal workers. Staff have been engaged in prolonged industrial action to protect their pay and condition.

MacAskill said: “The economic impacts of privatisation have exposed the Tories for putting their ideology above the interests of a good public mail service.

“Since the UK Government made the decision to privatise Royal Mail we have seen a company stacked with executives that are more concerned with increasing profits than delivering services. There has been a damaging impact on Scotland where the Royal Mail was the lifeblood of rural communities but these communities are now regularly let down.

“Royal Mail was a national asset that the Tories set out to asset strip. This has led to an unprecedented attack on its workforce and a service that Scotland’s postal workers themselves are unhappy with.

“With independence, Scotland should take Royal Mail back into public ownership. This would be an early sign that independence isn’t just about changing the flag at the top of the castle but changing the people of Scotland’s lives for the better.”