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Post Office Closures

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 15th May 2002.

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Photo of John Pugh John Pugh Liberal Democrat, Southport 4:40 pm, 15th May 2002

I am having difficulty following the thread of what the hon. Gentleman is saying. He began strongly by saying that he thought the flaw in Consignia was that it was not acting sufficiently like a private company, and that it was too wedded to a public service ethos. If it is going to act exactly like a private sector company, should it not be released from the burden of a universal service obligation—private companies do not have such obligations—and left free to close what branches it wishes, if it is to work as a commercial operation? We would argue that neither of those things should happen, but the hon. Gentleman does not seem to be capable of arguing that.