Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:25 am, 11th July 2019

Post offices are absolutely vital. I think that, in terms of national affection, they rank second only to the national health service in the passion that people feel about what is almost an institution. That is for good reason, particularly in rural areas, because post offices often provide services, including banking services, to local traders and residents that would otherwise have been hollowed out and become unavailable due to the absence of banks.

I take the issue extremely seriously. The Government have generally protected the size of the post office network; there are nearly 13,000 branches across the country, and the vast majority of people live within 1 mile of a branch. How the Post Office is handling that network might be a rather good subject for a Westminster Hall debate.