MPs to interrogate Vince Cable over Royal Mail

Business Secretary Vince Cable is facing another bombardment of questions by fellow MPs over the controversial privatisation of 500-year-old Royal Mail.

The government sold Royal Mail shares at a price of 330p apiece in October last. But, the stock quickly soared after the sale, prompting the Opposition as well as many market analysts that the government sold the stake off far too cheaply, robbing the national exchequer of its due.

The National Audit Office (NAO) discovered that several preferred investors had already offloaded all or some of their stock in the company. Opponents of Royal Mail's privatisation argued that investors pocketed huge profits that should have gone to the national exchequer.

The Business, Innovation & Skills Committee has recalled Mr. Cable on Tuesday to furnish further evidence on the sell-off. A member of the Committee said that tomorrow's hearing would focus on why Mr. Cable didn't stand up to bankers and demanded a higher starting price for Royal Mail's shares.

Labour MP and fellow committee member Ann McKechin said, "At the time we heard the Government assurances that the price rise was froth. Six months out, it clearly is not froth."

She added that the committee would be looking at the conflict of interests of companies that advised the Government as well as clients on the sale and purchase of Royal mail shares.

Royal Mail shares recently traded at 522¾p apiece.