CALUM Higgins, Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr, has slammed what he has called the Government's "botched privatisation" of Royal Mail after a report showed the sale had cost the public hundreds of millions of pounds.

Business Secretary Vince Cable yesterday faced a barrage of questions in the House of Commons following a report which concluded that ministers “could have achieved better value for the taxpayer”.

“People in Carmarthenshire will rightly be asking what the Tories and Lib Dems were thinking of when they sold off the Royal Mail for such a price," said Mr Higgins.

" And this week stamp prices have gone up – following a hike of 30 per cent in the price of a first-class stamp last year.

“As local families struggle with a cost-of-living crisis, they will look at this botched privatisation and see yet another example of an out-of-touch Government that doesn’t understand communities across Wales or Carmarthenshire.”

Giving his own reaction, Plaid AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said that during the campaign to stop the privatisation of Royal Mail his party had warned it would lead to "profit before people and shareholders before service".

“That’s why we put forward our alternative to privatisation – Post Cymru – a way of ensuring the postal service remained a public institution in Wales with service users always being the priority and rural communities receiving the same level of provision as those in urban areas," he added.

“Freedom of Information requests unfortunately told us that the Labour Welsh government did not make a single representation to stop this privatisation which has now lost taxpayers millions of pounds and threatens jobs."