Fury as Tories sell final Royal Mail shares overnight for £600m to City fatcats

Last night's £591million firesale went entirely to 'institutional investors', which include banks, pension schemes, insurance firms and hedge funds. It was the last stake in Royal Mail to be sold off in a controversial privatisation that h

The Tories have sold the final public stake in Royal Mail to City fatcats - a week after Jeremy Corbyn told an 8,000-strong rally it should be saved.

Last night's £591million firesale went entirely to 'institutional investors', which include banks, pension schemes, insurance firms and hedge funds.

It was the last stake in Royal Mail to be sold off in a controversial privatisation that has poured £3.3billion into Treasury coffers.

Business secretary Sajid Javid boasted today was a 'a truly historic day for Royal Mail with the workers gaining a share of this history'.

But the 455p sale price, which reflects the current market rate, is well below the 500p the government earned just four months ago.

And campaigners blasted the sale last week in a packed rally at Manchester Cathedral that gatecrashed the Tory conference .

Jeremy Corbyn declared Britain had been 'ripped off' as he led a crowd of 1,200 people in the cathedral and 7,000 people outside.

Christopher Furlong 

Rally: Jeremy Corbyn told 8,000 campaigners the sell-off should be stopped

He told the People's Post campaign event: "There are people who have been after Royal Mail for a very long time. People who cast their beady eye on the assets, the infrastructure and the opportunities."

And he said of the Tories: "What they're doing is trying to destroy it."

As with previous sales, the sell-off was announced yesterday and completed by the time the sun rose this morning .

None of the remaining 13% stake went to 'normal' household investors, a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman confirmed.

Another 1% will be gifted to eligible Royal Mail employees in the UK, bringing the total stake they own to 12%.

PA Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his speech at the Lord Mayor's Dinner for the Bankers and Merchants of the City of London at Mansion House, in the City of London.

Share price: George Osborne announcing a previous sale for the higher value of 500p

Mr Javid said the move is 'the right step for the Royal Mail, its customers and the taxpayer'.

He added: "Proceeds will also go to help pay off the national debt – a crucial part of our long term plan to provide economic security for working people."

Chancellor George Osborne said: "This is a milestone moment in the long and proud history of the Royal Mail, when we secure its long term future.

"By fully leaving state ownership we have a win all round - for customers, the workforce and the taxpayer. And every penny will be used to pay down our national debt as we continue to bring our public finances under control."

Anger: The CWU's Dave Ward claimed the sale puts 'public services at risk'

But Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, said: "This firesale nails the lie that the Tories stand up for the interests of ordinary people.

"By their actions today they have made it abundantly clear that they are only interested in privatisation dogma and making the rich richer - even when their actions place public services at risk.

"The remaining government share in this profitable company should have been used to safeguard the public’s voice in Royal Mail and ensure the continuation of daily deliveries to every address in the country.

"The Tories have instead chosen an ideological course that puts the fundamental ethos of a centuries old national institution in jeopardy."

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By Larry White 10/13/2015 03:55:00