November 11, 2008 12:00 AM

Commenting on reports in the media that Lord Peter Mandelson, Business and Enterprise Secretary, is urging the Government to channel a range of Government financial products through the Post Office and even re-award the Post Office Card Account to Post Offices, Jenny Willott, Lib Dem Shadow Work and Pension Secretary, who led a debate in the Commons on the Post Office Card Account yesterday evening, said:

"This hint is the first glimmer of hope for the Post Office for years.

"The Government has been slowly undermining the Post Office by driving away more and more services.

"The Post Office Card Account is fundamental to making the Post Office viable. If it gets taken away, up to 6,000 Post Offices may have to close - more than half of the entire Post Office network.

"It seems that at last, the Government is recognising the value of the Post Office network in covering the length and breadth of the country. What other company is plugged into almost every community?

"There is clearly an almighty battle going on behind the scenes between the Department of Work and Pensions, who are keen to scrap the Post Office Card Account, and Peter Mandelson, who is looking to save it and channel more services through the Post Office.

"After years of uncertainty and depressing talk of the need for closures, this is the first hopeful sign but the fight to save the Post Office network is far from over."

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