The government is to look into claims a council has failed to carry out its duties after the shutters came down on four libraries for the last time.

Last week, Harrow East MP Blackman led a debate in Parliament against the need for closures, asking the Secretary of State to intercede.

Now a letter sent to Harrow Council by the Department for Culture Media and Sport has revealed that Harrow East MP Bob Blackman has succeeded in bringing complaints about the closure of libraries to the attention of ministers.

It read: “Under the 1964 Act the Secretary of State may intervene if he is of the opinion that a local authority is failing to carry out its duty under the Act to deliver a “comprehensive and efficient” library service for library users by making a remedial order following a local inquiry.

“The local inquiry can be commenced either on receipt of a complaint or of the Secretary of State’s own motion.”

The department is considering Mr Blackman’s representations as a formal complaint and is now seeking to organise a meeting to ensure the Labour-run council is fulfilling its statutory duties.

Mr Blackman, a Conservative MP, said: “There has been an excellent campaign by local residents in Edgware in my constituency who have been fighting to save Bob Lawrence Library in particular.

“The Bob Lawrence Library Campaign team gathered a petition with more than 5,000 signatures from outraged local people and put together a sound business case for keeping the facility open too, but it was all to no avail.

“There is a general sense locally that decisions were made in this case before the consultation was even carried out, so I welcome steps being taken by the Department to provide oversight and to ensure that Harrow Council is fulfilling its duty of care to the community it serves.”