Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has said the 683 people who have signed a petition calling for Barclays to be encouraged to keep open a Suffolk branch of its bank 'demonstrates the strength of local feeling'.

Dr Coffey said in her past experience Barclays had behaved 'shamefully and shamelessly' and would continue to try and close the Leiston outlet in spite of the calls to keep it open.

She has set up the online petition to urge the House of Commons to request that the Government urges Barclays to keep the bank in Main Street running.

READ MORE: Petition to save the Leiston branch has been signed by 71

On the petition page, she describes herself as 'very disappointed' at the 'short-sighted' decision by the national chain to close the branch on May 17 due to a lack of customers.

In particular, she said she had received comments from constituents about how busy the branch was, especially with the construction of the new Sizewell C nuclear power station likely to increase demand.

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has described banks as a 'lifeline' for various sections of the communitySuffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey has described banks as a 'lifeline' for various sections of the community (Image: Archant)She said: “Barclays is the last bank in Leiston and the last branch of Barclays in Suffolk Coastal after the closures of seven other branches over the last decade.

READ MORE: Leiston to be left with no bank as Barclays to close down

"We are in a digital age but I know how much of a lifeline local bank branches are for all sectors of the community, especially elderly residents and for local businesses.”

“My past experience is that Barclays is pretty shameful and shameless and will continue to try and close the branch but thanks to the number of petition signatories, I was able to demonstrate the strength of local feeling."

READ MORE: Leiston news

Earlier this week, the EADT revealed that a separate petition calling for the branch to be saved had been set up on the website by Carl Creed.

So far, 208 people have signed this petition.

READ MORE: Suffolk news