Plans to close hundreds of rural post offices will undermine communities and leave many living in the countryside isolated, one of Gordon Brown’s advisers has warned. Daily Telegraph

Stuart Burgess, the Prime Minister’s rural advocate, yesterday handed him a report detailing growing fears about Government plans for post office closures.

Dr Burgess also said more than two million rural people living below the poverty line have been 'forgotten' by the Government.

His report is based on visits to rural areas where concerns included an ageing population, cuts in services and “severe difficulties” faced by farmers.