The rebellion has started in earnest. The PPS to the post office minister has just quit his job in protest at the plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail. It is his moment of glory, a brave stand that will see him join the masses of disgruntled MPs on the Labour benches. But there is one question that can’t be avoided: who is he?
Well the Royal Mail Martyr has impeccable Labour credentials. McGovern, who represents Dundee West, was one of two in the 2005 MP intake with a background in manual labour. He’s the son of a Glaswegian felt roofer and a Dundonian jute mill worker. He spent 24 years as a glazier before becoming a GMB organiser. He looks like he means business.
How serious is the rebellion? As the Tories are likely to back the measures, it need not scupper the part privatisation plans. But it will be messy, noisy and a real problem for the Labour whips and Gordon Brown. It could also take the shine off Lord Mandelson’s triumphant return to government.
Here is what McGovern had to say:
I believe a PPS has to be fully supportive of proposals of the department which they serve. In this case, I do not support hat looks to me like partial privatisation of the Royal Mail.
For me, it simply beggars belief that we would employ the services of a
company from abroad to tell the Royal Mail in this country where they are going
Whilst I have enjoyed my period of a Parliamentary Private Secretary and I regret having to resign, I simply feel that under the circumstance there was no alternative.