Labour peer an­nounced to head UK in­fra­struc­ture body

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Bri­tain’s Con­ser­va­tive Party was to an­nounce Mon­day that An­drew Ado­nis, a Labour peer and close ally of for­mer prime min­is­ter Tony Blair, will chair a new in­fra­struc­ture plan­ning body.

Ado­nis, who was pol­icy chief in Blair’s gov­ern­ment and trans­port sec­re­tary un­der Gor­don Brown, will no longer sit with Labour in the House of Lords, although he re­tains his mem­ber­ship of the party.

Os­borne was to tell the an­nual con­fer­ence of the rul­ing Tories that Ado­nis will be work­ing in the “na­tional in­ter­est” by chair­ing the Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Com­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to re­leased re­marks.

The body will plan projects such as rail links and power sta­tions.

“We have to shake Bri­tain out of its in­er­tia on the projects that mat­ter most,” Os­borne was to tell the con­fer­ence.

Ado­nis was to add: “I am pleased to ac­cept the chan­cel­lor’s in­vi­ta­tion to es­tab­lish the Na­tional In­fra­struc­ture Com­mis­sion as an in­de­pen­dent body able to ad­vise gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment on pri­or­i­ties.

“With­out big im­prove­ments to its trans­port and energy sys­tems, Bri­tain will grind to a halt.”

The idea of an in­fra­struc­ture com­mis­sion with cross-party sup­port was pro­posed by the Labour party ear­lier this year in its cam­paign for the May gen­eral elec­tion, at which it suf­fered a bruis­ing de­feat to the Con­ser­va­tives.

The com­mis­sion will be in­de­pen­dent from gov­ern­ment, and ad­vise on what in­fra­struc­ture should be de­vel­oped dur­ing each gov­ern­ment’s five-year term, a state­ment from the Con­ser­va­tive party said.

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