THE MP for North Cornwall has been criticised for his intervention amid an impending closure of a Bodmin pharmacy by one of his opponents at the next general election.

Ben Maguire, the Liberal Democrat prospective political candidate for North Cornwall, has accused Scott Mann of going ‘cap in hand’ to Asda and seeking a headline.

The criticism comes as a response to the MP and his team intervening after constituents contacted him upon reports that the supermarket was planning to close its Bodmin pharmacy, leaving the town with just two pharmacies and none opening later than 6pm.

The MP joined Bodmin Town Council in writing a letter to supermarket bosses, hoping to encourage them to review the decision, explaining the hardships that would be faced by the town’s residents.

However, in a response, the supermarket said that it would be proceeding with the closure, stating the cost of hiring locum pharmacists and alleging that usage at the facility had ‘continuously declined’, although it did not share data to back up its claim.

It also declined an invitation to meet with the MP to discuss the closure and discuss alternatives.

Mr Maguire accused the MP of ‘providing a continuous commentary’ on the closure, saying: “Our current MP’s daily commentary on the pharmacy closure at Asda in Bodmin highlights the Conservative’s sticking plaster politics. Having gone cap in hand to Asda bosses at the eleventh hour they are now refusing to meet him and closure seems inevitable. Jumping in after the event to get a headline will not provide quality healthcare for people here in North Cornwall.

“The Conservatives have run our precious NHS into the ground with Cornish GP surgeries given a huge real terms funding cut of around 8% taking into account inflation. Many of these surgeries now face the very real threat of closure following in the footsteps of NHS dental practices. If I am elected I will work tirelessly every single week to fix this mess and get the money and resources our local health services so desperately need".

A spokesperson for Mr Mann’s office declined to comment.