The government has been accused of displaying a "real lack of concern" over post office closures.

A Commons public accounts committee, which has examined the Post Office's progress since introducing its Network Change Programme in 2007, deemed that no consideration was given to members of the public affected by branch closures.

The Post Office has closed 2,500 branches over the past two years in an effort to make the network more financially sustainable.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh said that the government paid no consideration to local communities when making the decision to shut the branches.

"The closure of the local post office can be a real blow to the community," said Leigh, adding that the closure programme showed a real lack of concern for the citizens affected.

Leigh also accused the government and the Post Office of deciding to close branches before public consultation took place. "The consultation process appeared to the public as little more than a piece of window dressing for a decision which had to all intents and purposes already been taken," he added.