Post Office Horizon Scandal Judicial Enquiry
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The Post Office Horizon scandal. The Post Office which is a government and public owned company has been proven in the High Court to be hiding information regarding the robustness of its IT equipment, treating its staff in 'capricious, arbitrary ways which would not be unfamiliar to a mid-Victorian factory Owner and then seeking to cover it up either with government help or through total incompetence. The government had a duty to get it resolved as mentioned in National Audit Office and Internal Cross Party government documents regarding ‘Arms length businesses’ controlled by government for which Post Office is one of them.
There are over 550 claimants who completed costly litigation, with around the same amount waiting in the wings (and probably a lot more). Lives were destroyed, businesses lost, homes repossessed, bankruptcies, false imprisonment, families destroyed, health issues and suicides, all down to a total cover up of the truth.
I was one of these claimants and due to lack of government intervention for which they were responsible for doing we had to find third party funding to bring this to a head. This means under UK law the cost of funding cannot be recovered from the Post Office and it is estimated claimants will not even recover a tiny fraction of losses incurred. Those who made the decisions including directors, management and the chairman remain running this business. The EX CEO Paula Vennells who decided to resign days before the first substantial judgement was released by the High Court has since been awarded a CBE, a position in the cabinet office of government and also chairs one of the largest NHS Groups (Imperial NHS). The support of MP's is growing in recent weeks across both sides of the house.
We need an enquiry to ensure ALL those responsible are held to account and all those who suffered are compensated for losses that they had no control over due to a failing IT system , draconian unfair contracts and horrific actions by Post Office Ltd.
The Post Office continued to fight the litigation even though days before they responded to the claimants pre-court action letter they held a board meeting where they approved a document that stated their Horizon IT system was 'not fit for purpose'. They then proceeded to spend over 50 million pounds of taxpayer cash telling the court Horizon was definitely robust, this alone proves they were willing to cover up the truth. Here is an extract of the judgement handed down on the 16th December 2019 :-
“The IT Strategy, which is referred to in this Update Decision Paper, and outlined that “the IT [Horizon] was not fit for purpose” and which was approved in July 2016 by the Post Office Board is, in my judgment, entirely consistent with my conclusions on the evidence. It is not, however, consistent with the Post Office’s response to the claimants’ pre-action letter, or the Defence in the group litigation, or the evidence adduced by the Post Office in the Horizon Issues trial. The Post Office’s solicitors’ response to the pre-action letter is dated 28 July 2016, very lengthy, and states that “the investigations to date have consistently pointed towards human error or dishonest conduct in branches as the most likely cause of shortfalls.” [H 954]
All this was a complete lie and they were willing to allow Postmasters to lose their livelihoods, their families, some their dignity and others their lives whilst at the same time blowing through millions in taxpayer cash to do so.
We are calling on this government to start a full Judicial Enquiry led by Fraser Justice.
Your signature will help us put the pressure on government and the relevant ministers so those that have suffered enormously over a 20 year period can get the answers, accountability and justice they rightly deserve and finally move on with their lives.
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