MP ACCUSED OF HYPOCRISY AND POLITICKING OVER POST OFFICE CLOSURES

August 28, 2008 1:00 AM

Cllr Stephen Psallidas along with Cllrs Kane and Cooper outside a Post Office in their ward threatened with closureA senior Liberal Democrat councillor has accused Newcastle Labour MP Jim Cousins of hypocrisy and politicking over Post Office Closures in the city.

The Labour MP wrote to Councillor Stephen Psallidas commenting on a motion the councillor had proposed to a meeting of the City Council over the closure of Post Office in Newcastle.

In the letter, Mr Cousins states that he "welcomes Cllr Psallidas' concern about the closure of community facilities", but that "residents who sign up to his campaign risk exposing themselves to Liberal Democrat propaganda".

Mr Cousins goes on to accused the Liberal Democrats' campaign against the Post Office closures as a "sham".

He adds that although the Post Office Ltd consultation process is also a "sham", that "a sham consultation is better than no consultation".

Councillor Psallidas, who represents Ouseburn Ward, said: "Mr Cousins' letter is extraordinary.

"He says that he is concerned about the closure of community facilities.

"I wonder how many of his constituents know that he recently voted against a Motion in Parliament, which would have placed the Post Office closure programme on hold?

"It's very disappointing to see Mr Cousins labelling the Lib Dems' campaigning as a sham.

"Across the city we have had well over 1,000 residents sign up to our campaign to save these facilities, which are vital for so many people, especially the elderly and vulnerable.

"We have sent these responses directly to Post Office Ltd, and can only hope that they will make a difference.

"Instead of launching childish and rambling political attacks, Mr Cousins should be publicly condemning his own Government for the Post Office closure programme, and should have been working with us to try to save the network."

Mr Cousins' letter is available in the Downloads section.