Royal Mail might have to get a much bigger van for Downing Street deliveries after ex-Defence Secretary Liam Fox urged the public to return the Government-funded pro-EU mailshot back to David Cameron at Number 10.
Posties started delivering the 16-page leaflet to households in England this week. There will be 27 million delivered in total.
A petition on the Parliament website demanding a halt to the mailshot has attracted more than 204,000 signatures in less than a week.
Now Conservative MP Fox has said he will put his leaflet in the post to No 10 and has urged others to do the same. The move has also been backed Tory Euro-MP Dan Hannan.
South East England MEP Hannan called the mailshots “outrageous” and said: “They are spending £9.3m of our money telling us what to think. When my booklet arrives, I’m going to write my thoughts on it and send it back to the PM. Others should do the same.”
Even if just a small fraction of those who have signed the petition send the mailer back, that would be tens of thousands of letters. It might be welcome news for Royal Mail in terms of revenue, as there is no return address, so they will have to be returned in envelopes.
However, there is a major issue around postage. With many unlikely to put a stamp on the envelope, the move could prove a logistical nightmare for the postal operator and a costly one for No 10. Letters without stamps cost the recipient at least £1.50 each, which includes a handling fee and the unpaid postage.
The row has also taken a new twist after claims that profits from printing the booklet will end up in Germany as the Williams Lea Group-run Stationery Office is majority owned by Deutsche Post.
Ukip MP Douglas Carswell said it “beggared belief”, adding: “Hopefully this will be the last dollop of British taxpayer cash we are forced to send to Europe.”
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