‘Royal Mail’s new Czech proprietor should not lower jobs or providers after takeover’

Czech has to deliver

There was a time when the UK’s postal service was the envy of the world. Households and businesses across the country could rely on Royal Mail to deliver their post on time at a reasonable cost.

But since privatisation, this once-great national institution has become a shadow of its former self. Stamp prices have gone up and up, while the service has got worse and worse. Royal Mail is now about to be sold to Czech tycoon Daniel Kretinsky for £3.5billion.

If Mr Kretinsky’s EP Group is prepared to invest in the firm, and protect jobs, pensions and working conditions, then this could be a chance to turn the company around. What must not be allowed is for the new owner to cut the workforce and services.

This sale will also increase fears that the universal service obligation – the six-day delivery of mail for the same price to anywhere in the country – could be scrapped. If the deal does not deliver for Royal Mail’s workforce and customers, it should be blocked.

Healing touch

When Labour left power in 2010, satisfaction with the NHS was at a record high. After 14 years of Tory under-investment, neglect and mismanagement, waiting lists in England have risen to over seven million, there is a shortage of nurses, and hospital buildings are plagued with rats, sewage and floods. Once again, it will be left to Labour to restore the health service so it is again the pride of the country. That task has never been more urgent.

At the moment, the NHS is failing patients such as RAF veteran Stephen Tyrell, who told a campaign event with Keir Starmer yesterday he has waited nearly four years for surgery. He is one of millions who are relying on Labour to lift the NHS off its knees.

Making waves

Syrian refugee Eid Aljazairli almost drowned crossing the Mediterranean to seek sanctuary in Greece. Now, he is set to quality for the swimming at the Paris Olympics. His life-changing story is life-enhancing.