Download Free FREE High-quality Joomla! Designs • Premium Joomla 3 Templates BIGtheme.net
Home / News / UK govt due to clear names of post office managers

UK govt due to clear names of post office managers

Plans to clear the names of hundreds of UK Post Office branch managers wrongly convicted in the Horizon IT scandal will be announced “imminently”, the British government has said.

Rishi Sunak will face MPs later and is under pressure to set out how the government will exonerate hundreds of sub-postmasters accused of swindling money as a result of the flawed computer system.

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake said the government was “very, very close” to announcing its plans.

“We’re very, very close,” he said, refusing to “speculate” as to whether an announcement might come as soon as this afternoon.

Mr Hollinrake told Sky News he could not promise a “particular timeframe” as a decision “has not been finalised”.

He said there has always been a “sense of urgency” over compensation for victims of the Horizon scandal but stressed the “complexities” surrounding full and final settlements.

He told Times Radio: “There are some complexities around (making full and final payments), not least the ones you described because of the 980 postmasters that were convicted. So far 93 have managed to get their convictions overturned.

“So there’s a problem there both in terms of the overturning of convictions when people do come forward, but also lots of people just don’t want to come forward or are not coming forward.”

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake stressed the ‘complexities’ surrounding
full and final settlements for victims of the Horizon scandal

He said he thought part of this may be down to an understandable “nervousness” and a reluctance to deal with the Post Office again.

UK justice secretary Alex Chalk told MPs yesterday that active consideration was being given to an emergency law to quash all the convictions.

Ministers are under pressure to address the miscarriage of justice suffered by hundreds of sub-postmasters, as public anger over the Horizon IT scandal saw former Post Office boss Paula Vennells hand back her CBE.

Attention in recent days had turned to Ms Vennells, who ran the Post Office while it routinely denied there was a problem with its Horizon IT system and was appointed a CBE in December 2018.

Will Mellor starred in the ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office, an ITV drama on the scandal which fuelled public attention on the issue

Victims and campaigners welcomed her decision to hand back the honour, which came after 1.2 million people have signed a petition calling for her to be stripped of the CBE.

Will Mellor, who starred in the ITV drama Mr Bates Vs The Post Office and portrayed one of the victims, said the returning of Ms Vennells’ CBE was the “first step”.

“People are angered by it and they want something to be done, and you’ve seen what’s happened now with the petition, and it just shows us how strong we are when we come together,” he told the PA news agency.

It comes as the spotlight also turns on IT giant Fujitsu, after its faulty accounting software Horizon helped lead to the conviction of more than 700 Post Office branch managers.

Bosses at Fujitsu have been called to answer questions from MPs on the
Business and Trade Committee next week

Since 2012, the company has been awarded almost 200 contracts worth billions, with growing questions about why the Government has not severed ties with the firm in the wake of the scandal.

Bosses at Fujitsu have been called to answer questions from MPs on the Business and Trade Committee next week, after an ITV drama on the scandal fuelled public attention on the issue.

A Fujitsu spokesman said: “The current Post Office Horizon IT statutory inquiry is examining complex events stretching back over 20 years to understand who knew what, when, and what they did with that knowledge.

“The inquiry has reinforced the devastating impact on postmasters’ lives and that of their families, and Fujitsu has apologised for its role in their suffering.

“Fujitsu is fully committed to supporting the inquiry in order to understand what happened and to learn from it. Out of respect for the inquiry process, it would be inappropriate for Fujitsu to comment further at this time.”


Source link

Check Also

All-Ireland finals could return to September

A return to September for All-Ireland finals is a possibility, but only if counties adopt …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *