Labour MPs rebelled against the Government yesterday over plans to close post offices, with the Government only narrowly defeating a Tory motion that called for closures to be stopped.

Twenty Labour MPs voted against the motion, apparently including Diane Abbott and Kate Hoey, which was one of the biggest rebellions since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

The Conservative motion received 556 votes, including 268 in favour of stopping the closures, and 288 against.

Around 90 Labour MPs and ministers are campainging locally to save their post offices, a newspaper investigation has revealed.

John Hutton, Business Secretary, said that there was an ‘inescapable fact’ that had to be accepted, that the role of the post office has changed because of technology and consumer behaviour.

However, yesterday’s rebellion by Labour MPs in favour of a Tory motion to stop post office closures, is the biggest since Gordon Brown came to power.

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