Post Office Governance and Horizon Compensation Schemes - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:05 pm on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Offord of Garvel Lord Offord of Garvel The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) 8:05, 21 February 2024

This is very straight- forward. If I am appointed as the new chairman of a company in this situation and, of my three priorities, the No. 1 is to manage a legal process to get compensation quickly to postmasters, I would expect to be told that formally by the Permanent Secretary and to be held accountable to manage those costs effectively. That does not mean to minimise or delay; it means to manage the process effectively to get compensation to the postmasters. What has been put into the public domain makes it very clear that there has been no dragging of feet and no instruction to the contrary on this matter.

As we have discussed many times in this Chamber, we now have a full statutory inquiry. The judge, Wyn Williams, will pick through this in fine detail. We are all very impatient and frustrated because we want the answer now, but we got into this mess because we jumped the gun before, and we are not going to do so again.