• Max Bradford

Energy Minister Max Bradford today welcomed Labour energy spokesperson Pete Hodgson's statement congratulating United Electricity and Southpower Energy on their announced merger.

"Clearly, Mr Hodgson's comments are a vote of confidence in the Coalition Government's electricity reforms," Mr Bradford said, "and represents a major turnaround in his views from a couple of days ago.

"As Mr Hodgson knows, the electricity reforms reflect a key component of his own party's energy policy, as announced before the 1996 election, supporting separation of power companies' lines and energy businesses.

"We now look forward to the support of Labour in the House when the bill goes through. Even the Labour Party knows that as evidenced by this merger, these reforms are a good deal for customers."