March 22, 2008 11:09 PM

LABOUR MP Doug Henderson has been accused of hypocrisy after fighting to save local post offices in Newcastle while backing the controversial closure programme at Westminster.

On Wednesday night in the House of Commons Mr Henderson voted with the Government to reject an Opposition motion to halt the closures programme pending a review.

But in a leaflet delivered across his Newcastle North constituency last year, Mr Henderson was pictured on the front cover in Lemington post office with the postmaster and mistress.

Mr Henderson said then: "I have had meetings in the constituency and with Ministers on the future of local Post Offices. I will keep the pressure on the Government following their decision to look for a replacement for the Post Office Card Account Scheme. Our local Post Offices are vital for our communities."

Newcastle Liberal Democrats have now accused Mr Henderson of double standards. Spokesman Ron Beadle said: "The loss of Post Offices will hit people hard in Newcastle. Mr Henderson says he is supporting them in his constituency but on the other hand marches through the House of Commons to support the Government to close 2,500 post offices nationwide.

"This was an opportunity for Mr Henderson to make a stand on behalf of local people. I am disappointed he has backed the Government instead."

In July the consultation begins in Newcastle as to which branches will be put forward for closure.