The Post Office has quashed any rumours of “getting into bed with Tesco” and offering the Local model in all One Stop stores.

Speaking exclusively to Convenience Store, Network Transformation Programme director Neil Ennis said that the entire process for choosing stores for the 2,000 Local branches would be “a completely fair and transparent process”.

Rumours began when Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells said at a BIS Select Committee hearing that Tesco was keen to have the Local model in all 617 of its One Stop outlets, quickly drawing criticism from the National Federation of SubPostmasters.

Ennis said branches would be chosen on the basis of their suitability to run a post office. “We do expect some competition for this service, but we will be picking the best agent for the network, no matter what type of store they are,” he said.

The Post Office is currently finishing up the pilot scheme of its three-year Network Transformation Programme that will see 6,000 stores in the UK changed to either a Local or Main model branch.