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Labour reveals building sales plan

A restaurant, the civil service social club and the QE2 conference centre could be sold off by the government, under plans unveiled by Labour.

The party believes it could raise £100 million by disposing of four "non-essential" buildings - with the money being used to pay down the national debt.

The suggestions come from Labour's Zero-Based review of public spending, which is starting to publish its interim conclusions.

The properties mooted for sale are:

:: Inn The Park - a restaurant in St James' Park, estimated value £6.7 million

:: The Civil Service Club - £6.8 million

:: The QE2 conference centre - largest dedicated conference venue in central London, £25 million

:: Marlborough House - currently used by the Commonwealth Secretariat free of charge, £65 million

A final decision would only be taken if Labour wins the election, and would be subject to market conditions at the time.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie said: "David Cameron's government is set to break its promise to balance the books and get the national debt falling.

"The next Labour government will get the deficit and debt down, but we will do so in a fairer way and by examining every pound of spending.

"It is time to consider whether it is necessary for the state to continue owning a restaurant in St James' Park, a club for the exclusive use of civil servants, or a conference centre.

"Four such buildings in iconic locations in central London could attract interest from buyers around the world.

"A future Labour government will examine whether it would provide a better deal for taxpayers if the properties were sold off and the proceeds used to pay down Britain's national debt."


From Belfast Telegraph