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Tory Lord Forsyth criticises East Coast privatisation

THE Tories’ ideological decision to reprivatise the East Coast railway line was criticised yesterday — by a right-wing Tory Lord. 

Lib Dem transport minister Baroness Kramer had defended the government’s decision to put the publicly owned line back up for sale in a Lords debate yesterday. 

But the decision to ban state firm Directly Operated Railways from making a new bid to run the franchise from March came under friendly fire. 

Lord Forsyth, who is on the economic right of the Tory party, pointed out it went against the supposed capitalist principle of allowing the best company to win contracts. 

“Surely you would recognise that the whole point of competitive tendering is to get the best value and the best deal for the taxpayer and if you are right that a state-owned company wouldn’t be able to compete, why is that a reason to exclude it from the process?” he asked.

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