Post Office Legislation - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:46 pm on 14 March 2024.

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Photo of Lord Johnson of Lainston Lord Johnson of Lainston Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) 3:46, 14 March 2024

I thank my noble friend for raising the salience of these very important issues. It genuinely would not be helpful or appropriate for me to make a comment on any specific case. The inquiry itself is, in my view, extremely well led and very detailed. We are going to draw a number of conclusions from the extremely forensic amount of investigation that is being undertaken at the moment.

On a broader point, my noble friend is absolutely right: the principle around the leadership of these organisations, how they function, how they report to their boards, the independence of various directors on those boards and how those boards interact with government departments and Ministers, is absolutely something that I believe everyone in this House wants to look more closely at. The principle of arm’s-length still being within the reach of Ministers and responsible entities is also extremely important. I hope that while that may not be the specific outcome of the review relating directly to the Post Office, it will be the next stage in the investigation by Ministers and Parliament.