Post Office Governance and Horizon Compensation Schemes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 19 February 2024.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows Scottish National Party, Motherwell and Wishaw 4:26, 19 February 2024

I am at a loss today: another Monday, another Post Office scandal. I have tried very hard to pull together my thoughts on the statement, what was said in The Sunday Times, and what was said in this place less than two weeks ago when I led a Backbench Business debate on the culture of Post Office management.

I will ask the Secretary of State a few questions. Will she place on the record whether Nick Read wrote to the Justice Secretary last month defending the convictions, saying that some postmasters were guilty? That is a serious allegation, and I would really like to have an answer.

There has been talk all morning about damaging confidence in the compensation schemes. If there is confidence in them, can the Secretary of State explain why so many leading sub-postmasters affected by the scandal were given such derisory offers, months and months late? That is just not on. The Secretary of State cannot say that Henry Staunton damaged the compensation schemes; it was down to the Government and Post Office Ltd.

Is the Secretary of State aware that Post Office Ltd still employs 40 investigators who secured convictions? I agree with what Jonathan Reynolds said: exoneration must be hurried up and compensation must be paid sooner rather than later. I have said that every month for the last nine months.