Post Office: ICT

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Luke Evans Luke Evans Conservative, Bosworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that sub-postmasters who are found to be innocent of accusations of theft due to the Post Office's Horizon IT system fault have related criminal records removed quickly.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

Government is unable to comment on individual cases given that the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) is independent in their determination of applications. The CCRC is working hard to progress these cases at speed though and is treating the cases as a group to enable them to review the cases more efficiently. However, within the group of cases the CCRC will still need to assess each case individually, so that they can make a decision as to whether the case meets the statutory test to be referred to the appeal courts. Post Office Ltd has assured Government that it is fully cooperating with the CCRC. ​

More widely in respect of the Horizon case, the Post Office, under its new chief executive officer, has accepted that it got things wrong, apologised and said that it aims to re-establish a positive relationship with postmasters. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working actively with the Post Office on this matter and will hold it to account on its progress. We are also looking into what more needs to be done.

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