Post Office: GLO Compensation Scheme

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:20 pm on 7th December 2022.

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Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1:20 pm, 7th December 2022

Again, I do not want to stray too much into the legal process, other than to say that Sir Wyn Williams will report and his inquiry will make a series of recommendations, and I can reveal that we are likely to look very kindly on what he has to say.

We put a number of steps in place after speaking to Alan Bates and those impacted by the group litigation, but we have not, for example, handled this stage of the process through the Post Office. Instead, there is the extra reassurance of an independent panel, which includes the right hon. Member for North Durham and Lord Arbuthnot, to make sure the same errors cannot be repeated.

The key point is about ensuring there is not a large cost. As I mentioned to my hon. Friend Siobhan Baillie, there will not be a large cost in this part of the process. We then get into what will happen with prosecutions. I am probably leaping a little too far, but this significant injustice has caused misery to people’s lives, not only those who were wrongly convicted—I said in my opening remarks that some are not here to see this moment of partial justice—but the families who have been ripped apart and will never be brought back together. This damage and harm will last generations, and I very much hope our legal system will take all that into account.