The Green Investment Bank sell-off should be paused to ensure its environmental credentials are not damaged by the privatisation, MPs have urged. Politicians from both sides of the House urged Theresa May’s government to rethink the sale of the GIB, which has invested Â£2.7bn in projects including street lights and windfarms since its creation as a public sector body in 2012. The Australian bank Macquarie was chosen as the preferred bidder in October, leading some politicians to call for tighter restrictions on how the new owner can change the lender’s focus. Reports at the weekend said Macquarie was considering selling on some of the GIB’s assets. Energy minister Nick Hurd defended the sale, arguing that the bank will be required to honour its green purpose after privatisation. “We want this to go into th e private sector to do more of what it is doing, unfettered by the inevitable restrictions that the state has to put on it at this stage,” he said. Caroline Lucas, the Green MP who raised the issue in Parliament, described Macquarie as a “profiteer asset-stripper” and claimed it was the wrong time to sell the bank, given the government’s plans to increase support for British industry. Ed Miliband, the former Labour leader, said there is “cross-party concern” about the sale process. “They promised a new approach to industrial strategy. What has changed since they took over? Because if there’s a moment to prove their commitment to this new strategy, it’s this, around their plans for the GIB,” he said.
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