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May 10, 2007 10:04 AM

Local MP Tim Farron has accused the Government of 'playing politics' with local post offices.

In December the Government launched a consultation on the future of the post office network - setting out plans to close 2,500 of Britain's 14,000 post offices. The consultation closed in early March.

Almost two months after the end of the consultation, the Government has still not published its response.

Tim Farron and local post masters are suspicious that the Government is deliberately postponing an announcement about large-scale closures until after the local elections.

"The Government may be trying to bury bad news on post offices amidst the post-election furore when Mr Blair is expected to stand down as Prime Minister" said Tim.

Ministers were expected to have responded to the consultation by now with either an announcement that close plans have been stopped, or a list of post offices earmarked for closure. That list of post offices earmarked for closure may include in the region of a dozen post offices in Mr Farron's Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency.

Tim added, "As we've seen in Storth and Witherslack recently, local communities are committed to saving local post offices. All we ask is that the Government matches that commitment. At the very least, post masters and their customers have the right to expect that Government will be straight with them about their plans, rather than deliberately postponing bad news until after the elections."