Thank you to everyone who has been in touch about the Post Office Horizon scandal and for sharing your concerns, having watched Mr Bate’s Vs The Post Office myself I am totally appalled and angry at the awful and unjust way people were treated by their employer.
Yesterday in Parliament I listened very carefully to the statement from the Minister with responsibility for the Post Office about the steps Government has already taken and some additional steps it intends to take, to address miscarriages of justice against sub postmasters
Ministers have drawn up plans to fast-track the appeals of 750 postmasters. The Lord Chancellor will put these to senior judges for consideration, and they will be announced to Parliament in the next few days.
The Govternment will give "proper consideration" to the role of private prosecutions. Post Office were able to take action in the Courts without the overview of the CPS or any other body and If we are to make sure that a scandal like this can never happen again, we need to look at the way in which private prosecutions like these have been undertaken. They haven’t used private prosecutions since 2015 and I don’t believe they should ever again.
Finally, a retired judge will independently review and decide on disputes that arise from the overturned conviction compensation scheme. Sir Gary Hickinbottom, who sat in the High Court, will chair a panel to independently oversee compensation payments to the 900 convicted postmasters.
There are already three compensation schemes for different types of claims in place and I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet claimed and who is affected to come forward and make a claim. I am available to help anybody in Warrington South who may have been impacted to ensure your name is cleared and your reputation restored, even if a conviction was not secured.
I am pleased the police are looking at this case in respect of fraud and perjury for those who gave evidence against sub postmasters. I also urge the honours forfeiture committee to look carefully at the evidence which has now come to light and consider the validity of the awards made to those who knew or ought to have know about the unreliability of evidence and technology.