Post fears 'are scaremongering'

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THE HEAD of the National Federation of Sub-postmasters yesterday accused Labour of 'scaremongering' over the closure of rural post offices in its campaign against privatisation. Colin Baker, general secretary of the federation, said: 'There is absolutely no evidence . . . that the sale of 51 per cent of Royal Mail and Parcelforce will result in widespread closures of sub-offices.' He said the federation was still consulting its 19,000 members.

Robin Cook, Labour's spokesman on trade and industry, described the criticism as 'patronising and insulting to sub-postmasters'. He warned that post offices would be under the same pressures as gas showrooms, half of which closed because of privatisation.