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Post Office Closures

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:11 pm on 19th March 2008.

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Photo of John Hutton John Hutton Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform 2:11 pm, 19th March 2008

I would regard it as the duty of the Post Office to look seriously at arguments such as the hon. Gentleman's. If there is evidence that the figures are wrong or inaccurate, there is an opportunity in the consultation process—this is why it is happening—to make those arguments and for those representations to be taken into account. Postwatch is there to ensure, as a neutral umpire, that the process is being undertaken fairly. [ Interruption. ] Hon. Gentlemen who are scoffing at Postwatch need to be very clear about what lies behind that scoffing. Postwatch is a neutral, independent observer. If Mr. Francois, whom I heard scoffing—I do not think he would deny that it was him—would like to give the House evidence to suggest that Postwatch is in any way acting unfairly or improperly, I would like to see it now.

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