Two serving postmasters have been elected to the Post Office board as non-executive directors for the first time in the organisation’s 360-year history.

Elliot Jacobs, who runs seven post offices including in Barnet, Haringey, and Potters Bar, and Saf Ismail, who operates six post offices in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, received the most votes in a ballot of thousands of postmasters.

The Post Office said the appointments were a key milestone in the "sustained reset" of its relationship with postmasters.

The pair will formally join the Post Office board after an induction and training programme.

Post Office chairman Tim Parker said: "We have ambitious plans to unlock the Post Office’s potential so that by 2025 we are a sustainable and sought-after franchise.

"Having two serving postmasters on our board will help ensure our strategic direction is rooted in the reality of their experience and needs. It sends the clearest signal yet of our determination to ensure postmasters are at the heart of our business."

Postal affairs minister Paul Scully said: "Postmasters are at the very heart of the Post Office and should rightly have a strong voice at the very highest level in the organisation.

"Saf Ismail and Elliot Jacobs will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience as postmasters to the Post Office board, and their insight will be invaluable as the Post Office seeks to reset its relationship with postmasters."