July 2, 2008 12:30 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.

In The Journal newspaper - under the headline 'MPs pledge to back protests' - Mr Henderson said he would be fighting the closure of the Post Office in Garden Village, Gosforth.

He told the newspaper: "I have already had representations from the Garden Village Post Office and some of their customers. And in the case of the Garden Village, I am not convinced of the reasons they have given for closure.

"After further consultation with constituents I will be making direct representations to the Post Office."

However, as recently as March Mr Henderson voted with the Government in the House of Commons to reject an Opposition motion to halt the closures programme pending a review.

Newcastle Liberal Democrats accused Mr Henderson of double standards. Newcastle North Parliamentary spokesman Ron Beadle said: "The loss of Post Offices will hit people hard in Newcastle.

"Mr Henderson says he is fighting to keep branches open 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.

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

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."